The Oakland Raiders have an interesting history with the Arizona Cardinals. This Saturday, the two clubs with meet in the preseason for the 16th time when the Raiders open the 2017 campaign at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals played in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 3.
In the late 1950s, American Football League founder Lamar Hunt, after unsuccessfully lobbying the National Football League for an expansion franchise, was offered the opportunity to buy a stake in the then-Chicago Cardinals. He refused. The Cardinals moved to St. Louis after the 1959 season, mainly because of poor attendance. In late August 1959, published reports indicated St. Louis was in the running for an AFL franchise. The new league had six teams and was looking to add two more. The AFL essentially lost St. Louis as an option when the Cardinals relocated. Boston and Buffalo would join Dallas, New York, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, and Oakland ended up beating out Atlanta for the eighth and final slot after Minneapolis-St. Paul pulled out.
Although having played each other 15 times in the preseason and just nine times in the regular season, the Raiders and Cardinals did first meet in the regular season. The Raiders overcame an early 7-0 deficit to defeat the Cardinals 17-10 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in Week 4 of the 1973 regular season. Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 207 yards and a touchdown, while Stabler and four Raiders rushers combined for 247 yards on the ground.
The teams wouldn't meet again in the regular season for another 10 years, but did square off in preseason for the first time in 1976, with the Raiders topping the St. Louis Cardinals, 20-9, prophetically enough in Phoenix. The two squads wouldn't meet again in the preseason for another 20 years. The Raiders never did play the Cardinals in St. Louis in the preseason, and only faced them in St. Louis in the regular season the one time.
The Raiders first meeting against the Cardinals after they left St. Louis for Phoenix came in a 1996 preseason contest, the first preseason meeting between the two since 1976. The Cardinals relocated in 1988 and played with the name "Phoenix Cardinals" until changing to "Arizona Cardinals" in 1994. The Raiders won that 1996 meeting at Sun Devil Stadium, 26-3.
The Raiders lead the all-time preseason series 8-7, after their 2016 win at University of Phoenix Stadium, 31-10, as running back George Atkinson III ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals had won the previous four preseason meetings, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2015.
The Raiders are 6-2 all-time against the Cardinals in Arizona in the preseason, and 2-2 in Arizona in the regular season. The Cardinals have a 5-2 advantage over the Raiders in Oakland in the preseason, and the regular season series on Raiders turf (Los Angeles twice/Oakland three times) stands at 3-2 in favor of the Cards.
The Silver and Black made their debut at University of Phoenix Stadium during the 2010 regular season. This Saturday's game will mark the fourth overall meeting between the two teams at that venue.
Take a look back at the Raiders vs Cardinals series through the years.
The two teams have met in the preseason consecutively from 1996-99, 2001-02, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2011-12, and 2015-17. The longest home streak in the series is four games with the Raiders hosting four in a row (2005, 2007, 2008, 2011). This year marks the fourth time the Raiders will have kicked off the preseason with a match-up against the Cardinals, and the second year in a row doing so at Arizona.
Raiders/Cardinals Preseason Series History
1976 Raiders vs St. Louis Cardinals in Phoenix, W 20-9
1996 Raiders at Cardinals, W 26-3
1997 Raiders at Cardinals, L 15-13
1998 Raiders vs Cardinals, L 21-14
1999 Raiders at Cardinals, W 43-7
2001 Raiders at Cardinals, W 10-7
2002 Raiders vs Cardinals, W 31-3
2004 Raiders at Cardinals, W 17-16
2005 Raiders vs Cardinals, L 17-16
2007 Raiders vs Cardinals, W 27-23
2008 Raiders vs Cardinals, L 24-0
2011 Raiders vs Cardinals, L 24-18
2012 Raiders at Cardinals, L 31-27
2015 Raiders vs Cardinals, L 30-23
2016 Raiders at Cardinals, W 31-10