Arizona Cardinals edge out Oakland Raiders, win 31-27

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 17: Running back Ryan Williams #34 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of the NFL preseason game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The first win of the pre-season!

In their first game at University of Phoenix Stadium for the 2012 season, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Oakland Raiders, with the final score being 31-27.

Hit the jump for details from the win at home.

Today marked the return of RB Ryan Williams for the Cardinals. Going down in an injury against the Green Bay Packers in last year's pre-season, most fans were anxious to see how he would perform. It's safe to say Williams did not disappoint, as he had 5 carries for 25 yards, and even scored the first TD of the game. Williams fellow RB William Powell also turned heads, as he had 7 carries for 37 yards, including a TD. As for the QB's, Kevin Kolb started the game, quickly going 3-3, and ending the drive with the Ryan Williams TD. However, he quickly regressed after that, and ended the game 3-6 for 22 yards. Eventually, his competitor in the battle, John Skelton, was brought in to roars from the crowd. Skelton immediately took advantage of the opportunity, going 3-3 for 23 yards, and ending the drive with a 3-yard TD pass to FB Anthony Sherman. At this point, it is safe to say that Skelton has a considerable lead in the battle.

It was an inspiring game for the Cardinals 1st team Defense, as they managed to limit Carson Palmer and the Raiders Offense to only 11 points in the 1st Half. S Kerry Rhodes had the only interception for the Cardinals, brining a pass by Palmer back 60 yards into the Cardinals endzone. The Cardinals were also successful on the fumble front, with LBers Stewart Bradley and Clark Haggans both recovering two each. All in all, compared to the last two outings, it was a much more productive day for the Cardinals defense.

Special Teams had its own say in the game, with one of the highlifts of the game coming off a blocked punt return. Rookie S Justin Bethel managed to beat the Raiders on the right side, blocking P Marquette King. Bethel immediately recovered the ball, and ran it in 19 yards into the endzone to put 6 up on the board.

The time of possession for the Cardinals was 24.39, vs. 35.21 for the Raiders. They had 15 1st Downs, 2 punts, and 10 penalties, which resulted in 103 yards for the Raiders.

Next week, the Cardinals travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans on national TV. The Cardinals QB battle will most probably be the main spectacle, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

But this time, the entire nation will be joining in on watching us. Let's just hope it all goes well.

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