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Cardinals Vs. Raiders: Game Preview And Facts About The Two Teams

The Arizona Cardinals host the Oakland Raiders Friday night at University of Phoenix Stadium at 7 PM. The Cardinals are playing their third preseason game, while the Raiders will be playing their second preseason game, and second game of the week. They played the Dallas Cowboys Monday night and lost 3-0.

Arizona is planning on playing their starters significant time, if necessary. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said they will play "until they get it right," Hopefully, that means they will start more quickly. In 2011, they scored a total (A TOTAL) of 36 points in the first quarter. Yes, in 16 games, 36 points in the first quarter.

Kevin Kolb will start the game and then give way to John Skelton at some point. The two are battling for the starting job at quarterback, and it has been the biggest topic of discussion.

Oakland brings with them a familiar face in Matt Leinart, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2006 and was supposed to be the future of the team at quarterback. Now he backs up Carson Palmer in Oakland, just like he did when he started at USC in college.

Both teams were 8-8 in 2011, but were built almost in opposite fashion. The Cardinals struggled offensively much of the season and ended the year with a dominant defense. Oakland had a very good offense and terrible defense. Offensively, they ranked ninth. Defensively? 29th.

The two teams have met often in the preseason. In 12 contests, Oakland has won seven, including four in Arizona. They first played in 1976.

The last time the two teams faced when it counted, it was in 2010 and Derek Anderson was the starting quarterback. The Cardinals came away with a 24-23 win when Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed 32-yard field goal for the win with four second left in the game.

Here are some connections between the two teams:


Former Cardinals Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie played for the Cardinals from 1989-90, but was placed on injured reserve both seasons.

Raiders QB Matt Leinart was a first-round pick (10th overall) of the Cardinals in 2006 and started 17 games in four seasons in Arizona.

Former Raiders Cardinals LB Quentin Groves spent the past two seasons with the Raiders, playing in 31 games and making 15 starts. He was acquired by Oakland in a trade with Jacksonville prior to the 2010 season.

Cardinals Special Teams coach Kevin Spencer served as a quality control coach (1995), assistant LBs coach (1996) and defensive assistant (1997) for the Raiders.

Arizona Connections

Raiders LB Travis Goethel started 41 of 50 games played in four years at Arizona State (2006-09), totaling 228 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, two sacks and three passes defensed during his career.

Raiders T Dan Knapp played at Arizona State (2008-11), beginning his career as a TE before moving to the O-line, and was a teammate of Cardinals LB Colin Parker (2008-11) and S Eddie Elder (2010-11) with the Sun Devils.

Raiders WR Juron Criner played in 50 games at the University of Arizona from 2008-11, recording 209 catches for 2,859 yards and an all-time school-record 32 TDs.

Raiders Defensive Backs coach Johnnie Lynn coached at the University of Arizona from 1987-1993, beginning as a graduate assistant before spending time as outside linebackers coach and then defensive backs coach.

Raiders QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero attended Gilbert (AZ) High School and was the Fiesta Region Offensive Player of the Year as a senior.

Raiders DT Christo Bilukidi played at Eastern Arizona JC before attending Georgia State. Californ