Cardinals 31, Raiders 27

John Skelton made the most of a brief opportunity. Kevin Kolb

mixed some good with the bad.

And, after Arizona beat Oakland 31-27 on Friday night, Kolb got

a scathing review from Raiders defensive end Tommy Kelly, who

sacked the Arizona quarterback for a safety.

”He is skittish. He is scared back there,” Kelly said.

”Anytime anybody gets close to him he starts looking at the refs.

As a defensive lineman you love a quarterback like that. He ain’t

even trying to look at the routes no more. He is paying attention

to us and you ain’t going to get nothing done like that.”

Skelton took just five snaps, but that was enough for him to

throw the first touchdown pass for either quarterback candidate

this preseason.

Oakland running back Mike Goodson, who fumbled the ball away

twice, left later in the second quarter with a chest injury.

Arizona starting left tackle Levi Brown was sidelined in the second

quarter with a triceps injury. Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford

also left early with a foot injury. Skelton’s 3-yard toss to a wide

open Anthony Sherman was part of Arizona’s 17-point second


Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t prepared to make any quarterback


”Not with only five plays for John,” Whisenhunt said. ”I

think I’ll have to get John some extended time this next


Skelton entered the game after Oakland fumbled the ball away at

its 23. He completed 3 of 3 passes for 23 yards.

Whisenhunt said he didn’t want the starting offensive line to

play in the second half and he didn’t want Skelton playing behind

the backups.

Skelton said he understood, grudgingly.

”There’s a little frustration but at the same time you kind of

understand it,” he said. ”They want to give everyone an equal

opportunity but at the same time you can’t have the o-line in there

for an extended period of time just to make everything equal. I

kind of was a little mad about the decision but at the same time I

understand it.”

Kolb was 3 of 3 for 22 yards in Arizona’s opening touchdown

drive but was sacked by Kelly in the end zone on the Cardinals’

next possession. He completed 3 of 6 passes and was sacked three


Raiders backup quarterback and former Cardinals starter Matt

Leinart left the game in the third quarter with a cut on the index

finger on his right (non-throwing) hand after he took a late hit

from Arizona’s Ricky Lumpkin, who was called for a personal foul on

the play.

The Cardinals lost starting left tackle Levi Brown to a triceps

injury in the second quarter. Whisenhunt said he would know more

about the severity of Brown’s injury on Saturday.

Oakland running back Mike Goodson, who fumbled the ball away

twice, left later in the second quarter with a chest injury.

Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford also left early with a foot


In a matchup of teams tied at No. 23 in the AP Pro32, Oakland

had a 184-52 advantage in yards at halftime but trailed 24-11,

thanks to two turnovers that resulted in 10 Arizona points. Another

Cardinals TD came on a blocked punt as Arizona won for the first

time in three preseason games.

”We have got to execute better. We’ve got to eliminate the

turnovers,” Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. ”The self-inflicted

wounds , they are hard to come back from so we have to execute in

that regard a lot better.”

Arizona’s Justin Bethel, a sixth-round draft pick out of

Presbyterian College (enrollment 1,200), blocked the punt and

returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. He later blocked an extra


Carson Palmer played the first half for Oakland, completing 13

of 24 passes for 107 yards. He was intercepted once.

Darren McFadden ran nine times for 34 yards for the Raiders

(0-2), who scored their first touchdown of the preseason when

Lonyae Miller ran in from the 1-yard line against the Arizona

reserves in the third quarter.

Rookie Eddy Carmona kicked a 52-yard field goal for Oakland

after Sebastian Janikowski booted three field goals and called it a


The Cardinals’ Ryan Williams, the second-year pro playing for

the first time since tearing his right patella tendon in the

preseason a year ago, rushed five times for 25 yards, including a

3-yard touchdown run.

”I can’t even lie, I was so nervous,” Williams said. ”I felt

like I was six years old again playing Pop Warner.”

Bethel’s blocked punt return capped Arizona’s 17-point second


Moments later, Goodson fumbled, and Stewart Bradley recovered

for Arizona at the Raiders’ 23. Skelton threw 11 yards to Todd Heap

on his first play, connected with Rob Housler for 8 yards, and then

tossed to Sherman for the touchdown.

King boomed a 71-yard punt early in the game, but Patrick

Peterson, who returned four punts for touchdowns as a rookie last

season, returned it 46 yards to the Raiders’ 41. Kolb completed all

three attempts for 22 yards, and Williams carried four times for

19, including a 15-yarder to the Oakland 5.

Two Oakland turnovers resulted in 10 first-half points for the

Cardinals. First, Palmer overthrew intended receiver Darrius

Heyward-Bey, and Kerry Rhodes intercepted, returning it 66 yards to

the Oakland 5 to set up Jay Feely’s 32-yard field goal.

On Arizona’s second possession, Kolb was called for intentional

grounding, pushing the ball back to the Cardinals’ 1. On the next

play, Kelly broke through to sack Kolb for a safety.

Following the subsequent free kick, the Raiders drove to the

Arizona 23, and Janikowski’s 40-yarder gave the Raiders their first

lead of the preseason, 8-5.

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