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What are the position battles to watch in the game against the Raiders

Lines are getting clearer in the sand and here are the most important battles in preseason week 3

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest battles are going to be happening all along the injury plagued offensive and defensive lines.

Earl Watford vs. Bradley Sowell

Everyone clearly knows that Humphries is not going to start. So in a surprise move, Arians decided to through Watford into the fire. Watford has been good enough to be a consistent backup and truthfully Sowell isn't going to be breaking any records. Both players talent levels are about the same. This should be an interesting move.

Alameda Ta'amu vs. Xavier Williams

With Corey Peters out the door is open to keep both players. Not sure if Williams will play because of his elbow and he will be a game time decision, but this battle is all about determining the depth chart. Ta'amu has good experience and both guys play the same style, but Williams has been getting a lot of praise from the coaching staff.

Alani Fua vs. the remaining young ILBs

The Cardinals brought in a glut of linebackers to try and boost the group. So far the only real standout and favorite has been Fua. He's typically compared against Gabe Martin, but at this point he's looked better than Edwin Jackson and Kirk Andrae too. Actually, he may be playing in this game to be considered a legitimate backup in the season.

Markus Golden vs. Shaq Riddick vs. LaMarr Woodley

Alex Okafor is a lock as one starting outside linebacker. Meanwhile, the other side is still a mess. Golden has been  everything he was billed. A hard worker with a good motor, but his pass rush leaves something to be desired. Shaq Riddick has just come off injury and everyone will want to see if he is going to be able to boost the team.

Meanwhile, LaMarr Woodley hasn't shown much to think he'll be the next linebacker to have his career resusitated, Kareem Martin is making as big of a splash that he did at defensive end and Lorenzo Alexander continues to be a great special teams player, but a mediocre linebacker.

Logan Thomas vs. Phillip Sims

We all knew it was coming. Despite his poor stat sheet against the Chargers, Logan Thomas has looked much better this season standing in the pocket and reading the field. His biggest knock was his failure to mentally pick up the offense.

Sims meanwhile has been excellent, though he's playing against the third string of teams. If he wants to beat out Thomas he will need to show he can stay in the pocket and get passes to his receivers rather than running for yards.

By now everyone knows how I feel about the third quarterback position. Here's hoping either one of them shows some promise.