Despite the win, the Cardinals came out of Oakland yesterday like a team whose ceiling is the 6-7 games the rest of the nation believes rather than the playoff bound team the local fans think.
But I digress.. let's focus on the positional battles and what we can gleam from them.
Bradley Sowell vs. Earl Watford
Don't get me started on Sowell. All I will say is that he is the same player we saw starting left tackle two years ago. Sadly, there isn't any player on this roster that will beat him to start the season replacing Bobby Massie. Watford wasn't bad, but he won't win the starting job based off this game alone.
A.Q. Shipley vs. Lyle Sendlein
Shipley has looked solid during the preseason fending off Sendlein, but after getting beaten a few times by former Cardinal Dan Williams (salt in the wound) we can all see why there is a battle for the position. This race may be closer than I believed.
Markus Golden vs. LaMarr Woodley vs. Shaq Riddick
The two players who really stood out was Golden and Kareem Martin looked decent and put obvious pressure on the Raiders during the game. No minor feat, considering the starters looked unbelievably awful aside from Alex Okafor. Nothing to say they will be starters, but enough that to generate hope they may improve and be contributors.
Xavier Williams vs. Alameda Ta'amu
The choice between Williams and Ta'amu is a difficult one so I'm going for the cop out and saying it was a wash. Both were good and either one is good for the defense. However, Josh Mauro, the midseason pickup from last year defnitly continued to show he is worht a roster spot. The question is if he will make the Arizona roster. Watch for Mauro next Thursday.
Logan Thomas vs. Phillip Sims
There was one thing that stood out to me more than any other moment in the game. Phillip Sims played before Logan Thomas last night. Which may.. may be an indication that Sims is winning this battle.
However, Sims hasn't made a lot of impressive throws. He's accurate, but not throwing bombs. A lot of fans don't like Thomas, but Sims hasn't convinced me he would be any better for Bruce Arians offense.
Cariel Brooks vs. Jimmy Legree
Don't mistake Brooks interception as the decision maker. Far from it. This battle is in Brooks' favor because of Legree's execution. Legree will make a terrible play and then a good play. For example, he was clearly beat for a touchdown, only for it to be called back due to the Raider's false start. A few plays later, Legree made a great pass deflection. A backup must foremost be reliable. Brooks has the same ability, bu with more consistency.