The Arizona Cardinals finally got a preseason win on Sunday. Despite two interceptions in the first half by Carson Palmer and allowing three sacks to Khalil Mack and the improved Oakland Raiders defense, much-maligned Logan Thomas had some heroics. After the Raiders tied the score with just over two minutes left in the game, Thomas, with a couple of big plays by tight end Ifeanyi Momah, led Arizona to a touchdown to give Arizona a 30-23 win.
The Raiders got on the board first.
The Cardinals got a first down on their first drive, but Carson Palmer misfired on a throw to Larry Fitzgerald and it was intercepted by Nate Allen. The Arizona defense held, but the Sebastian Janikowski connected on a 49-yard field goal to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.
After each team exchanged punts, Chandler Catanzaro missed a 54-yard field goal to tie the game and the Raiders would later take a 6-0 in the first quarter.
Arizona would get their only three points of the half on a 53-yard Catanzaro kick in the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 39-yard pass play to John Brown. But after that, two incomplete passes and a sack would leave them settling for three.
The Cardinals defense was very good overall. Oakland would kick three more field goals, but Oakland only could muster one rushing yard in the half.
The story, though, was the pressure on Palmer in the first half. Palmer was sacked three times, twice by Khalil Mack, and was pressured and hit numerous other times. Mack made both Bradley Sowell and Jared Veldheer look bad.
Palmer would finish only 8/22 for 103 yards and two interceptions.
The second half saw some improvements.
The Cardinals sent out their second stringers against Oakland's starters, but fared better. Undrafted rookie cornerback Cariel Brooks picked off an ill-advised pass from Derek Carr and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown.
Offensively, the protection issues seemed to go away a bit. With Earl Watford at right tackle and D.J. Humphries at left tackle, Drew Stanton was not sacked and, just into the fourth quarter, Stanton hit rookie running back David Johnson for an eight-yard touchdown pass to give Arizona a 16-15 lead, following a failed two-point attempt.
Stanton ended his night 8/9 for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Phillip Sims extended the lead to 23-15. He led the Cardinals on a 10-play drive that ended with him dumping the ball off to Kerwynn Williams, who ran the rest of the way to the end zone for a 10-yard score.
Matt McGloin led the Raiders down the field to a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game, but Logan Thomas and Ifeanyi Momah led the way to win the game.
Momah dragged several defenders for several yards to get a 16-yard catch for a first down and then a 38-yard play in which he took a big hit and ran with his helmet almost falling off. Marion Grice ran the ball in from 11 yards to score the winning touchdown.
Arizona improves its preseason record to 1-2 and now will have a couple of days to decide on 12 players to cut to get down to 75 players.