Although the game started out promising when LaRod Stephens-Howling returned the opening kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, things went sour quickly.
With the Raiders up 20-17 at the half, this game is looking a bit familiar to Arizona Cardinals fans. The team is carrying over a number of the disappointing themes from last week’s defeat, including troubles converting on third-down (2-for-7), turnovers (a muffed punt return and a costly Anderson interception that Oakland turned into a touchdown), and inept defense (allowing 86 yards rushing and 126 yards receiving in the first half).
On the positive side, they have cut down on the penalties for the most part, suffering only two for a total of 30 yards. And they won’t be going 0-fer on third down again. But the offense is still sputtering, Anderson-to-Fitzgerald is still ineffective (targeted four times for zero receptions), and the Raiders have the lead.
Things are still close and the game is not lost, but the Cardinals are going to have to turn things around on both sides of the ball to win this one.
I’m sure folks around the state of Arizona are asking asking, “How much worse could Max Hall be?”