Five To Watch: Cardinals at Raiders

The silver and black of the Oakland Raiders awaits the Cardinals for their next preseason game. While the Raider Nation has taken a few hard hits in recent years, the Cardinals must still execute a solid game plan if they want to come out as victors. Here are five players to take note of during this clash.

1. Anquan Boldin

As trade demands swirl around Boldin, it will be interesting to see if he plans on playing to his full potential. If he decides to scale back his efforts in order to force a trade the Cardinals could be in for a problematic situation. Luckily, Boldin is not that kind of player. Even though he is extremely unhappy with management he still plans to play out his contract. It would be wise for the Cardinals to do everything they can to mend this situation before the bridge is completely burned. This week keep an eye on Boldin and see if his digressing relationship with the team has any effect on his productivity.

2. Travis LaBoy

LaBoy has been a monster for the Cardinals in his new "predator" position. Last week against the Chiefs he was a single-man wrecking crew. He was dominant on the field as he totaled eight tackles and two sacks. If LaBoy continues to show a prowess for the predator position, he could be the Cardinals' smartest off-season acquisition. LaBoy should be able to take some of the pressure off of Dansby and allow for a much stiffer Cardinals' defense in 2008.

3. Neil Rackers

Rackers has experienced a career filled with greatness as well as inconsistency. Against the Chiefs the former was on display. As he missed an extra point, some fans were left wondering if this was the beginning to another unpredictable season. Hopefully Rackers can get back on track versus the Raiders. He has NFL leg strength, without question. If the Cardinals are going to be successful this year, he needs to add NFL accuracy as well.

4. Tim Castille

The solid play of Castille has veteran workhorse Terrelle Smith on the ropes. If Castille can follow up with another solid outing, he will be well on his way to supplanting Smith as the starting fullback. Signed out of Alabama last season, Castille never saw playing time. This year he has starting on his mind and could be a valuable contributor in the coming season. His play against the Raiders will be a solid indicator of exactly where he stands with Coach Ken Whisenhunt.

5. Ben Patrick

The injury bug has bitten Patrick, causing his chances of winning the starting gig to be drastically reduced. Pope has not done anything spectacular to lock down the role, so it is still up for grabs. However, if Patrick cannot shake this latest ankle injury his position on the depth chart will be solidified. If he can get on the field this week, look for him to either make a big play or start preparing to be Leonard Pope's understudy.

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