Raiders edge Cards

The Oakland Raiders continue to be in midseason form for playing close games even though it's only the preseason. The Raiders downed the Arizona Cardinals 17-16 Saturday night.

The Cardinals took a 6-3 lead at halftime. Neil Rackers connected on field goal attempts of 26 and 23 yards while Oakland Raiders kicker Raiders Sebastian Janikowski made good from 35 yards away. The Raiders, who beat San Francisco 33-30 and lot to Dallas 21-20 in the preseason, close out their exhibition slate Thursday night at home against the St. Louis Rams.

Arizona assumed a 13-3 lead late in the third period on Josh Scobey's 2-yard run. Oakland answered in short order as Kerry Collins connected with Doug Gabriel from 45-yards out late in the third quarter. That connected marks the third time this exhibition season that the duo connected for a touchdown pass.

Oakland took a 17-13 lead early in the fourth quarter when Justin Fargas scored on a 1-yard run. The Cards then trimmed to the deficit to a single point when Rackers nailed a 31-yard field goal with 2:54 left in the game, making it 17-16 Oakland.

Quick hits

-- LB Travian Smith continued to play an active role, recording two sacks.

-- DE turned LB Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and DE Grant Irons continued to be active as well, each recorded one sack and one fumble recovery.

-- RB Tyrone Wheatley helped his cause to assume the lead horse role in Oakland's running game. Wheatley, once again, ran with authority, carrying 10 times for 54 yards.

-- RB J.R. Redmond, who looked like a longshot to make the team entering training camp, had an active role as a receiver in catching three passes for 27 yards.

-- QB Rich Gannon came kept his hold on the No. 1 signal-calling job by completing 8-of-12 passes for 89 yards. Collins completed less-than-half of his passes (3-of-7) but got the Raiders into the end zone with his aforementioned connection with Gabriel.

-- The special teams coverage performed like the improved group most expected when special teams coach Joe Avezzano was hired to replace Bob Casullo. The units gave up big plays in each of the first two preseason games but Saturday the cards averaged just 22 yards on three kickoff returns and 6.5 yards on two punt returns.


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