Sunday marks another home opener for the Las Vegas Raiders and coming into town are the Arizona Cardinals, who are looking for their first win of the season, as are the Raiders.
The Raiders and Cardinals first matched up back in 1973, when the the Raiders won with a score of 17-10. The most recent matchup was in 2018, which the Raiders also won 23-21 thanks to a game-winning field goal from K Daniel Carlson. The Raiders are up 6-4 in the series per the Football Database.
Raiders DE Chandler Jones will face his old team the Cardinals, where he is the all-time sack leader with 71.5 career sacks.
There is also some connection between Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. McDaniels was coaching with the Patriots in 2003-04 when Kingsbury came in as a rookie QB.
“He was a very bright young guy when we got him there,” McDaniels said. “It doesn’t surprise me that he has ascended to this point.”
The Raiders are undefeated in home openers in Allegiant Stadium. This time around, to keep their home opener streak alive, they’ll have to do that without three key starters. C Andre James (concussion), LB Denzel Perryman (ankle), and S Tre’von Moehrig (hip) are ruled out for this Sunday’s game.
OL Dylan Parham, LBs Luke Masterson, Darien Butler, and S Duron Harmon are the projected players to step up to fill the shoes of the injured Raiders. The Cardinals will also be missing WRs Andy Isabella (back) and Rondale Moore (hamstring) for Sunday’s matchup.
Parham played both guard positions last week and now he is slated to to be the starting center. McDaniels said his versatility is what has gained him chances with the Raiders.
“We wouldn’t put him in that position if we didn’t think he could handle it,” McDaniels said. “Feel comfortable with being able to play multiple positions.”
Keys to the Game
The Raiders will have to clean up their protection of QB Derek Carr, turnovers, and their ability to get to the quarterback to be successful in Week 2.
Carr was sacked six times and threw three interceptions in the team’s Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. With those numbers, the Raiders won’t win many football games. Chargers QB Justin Herbert wasn’t sacked once in their Week 1 loss, and with the scrambling ability of Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, the Raiders have to pressure and bring him down before he escapes for the big gains he has shown us over the years that he can get on the ground.
The Raiders and Cardinals are set to kick off in Allegiant Stadium at 1:25 PST on Sep. 18.
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