Cardinals Top Raiders 30-23 in Preseason Thriller

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LB Khalil Mack sacked Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer twice and forced a fumble. AP Photo.

The Arizona Cardinals scored a late touchdown to defeat the Oakland Raiders 30-23 in 2015 Preseason Week 3 action at O.co Coliseum on NBC's Sunday Night Football. The Raiders squandered a 15-3 lead, tied the game at 23-23 late on the strength of a Matt McGloin touchdown pass and two-point conversion pass. But it wasn't enough as the Cards were able to march down the field in the waning moments.

The Cardinals won the opening coin toss and chose to receive. RB Kerwynn Williams fielded K Sebastian Janikowski's opening kickoff 9 yards deep in the end zone and took a knee for a touchback. Arizona started at the 20 with Carson Palmer at quarterback. After the Raiders allowed one first down, safety Nate Allen appeared to pick off a Palmer pass intended for WR Larry Fitzgerald but the official ruled he was juggling the ball as he slid out of bounds. Head Coach Jack Del Rio challenged and the Raiders were awarded the ball. One knee does equal two feet according to Hall of Fame head coach John Madden, and Allen got one knee in with control as he slid out of bounds. 

The Raiders took over at the Cardinals 34 with Derek Carr at quarterback. The Raiders went three and out and Janikowski came on for a 49-yard field goal attempt off the dirt. The kick was true and the Raiders took at 3-0 lead with 11:35 left in the 1st quarter. 

Williams fielded the ensuing kickoff 8 yards deep in the end, thought about it and changed his mind. The Cardinals started their second drive at the 20 after the touchback. The Raiders held the Cards to a 3-and-out as Palmer's 3rd and 5 pass fell incomplete. CB TJ Carrie returned P Dave Zastudil's 51-yard punt 6 yards to the Oakland 30. 

The Raiders picked up 9 on this possession but went 3-and-out and P Marquette King put the Cards at the Arizona 20 with a 41-yard punt that bounced out of bounds. The Cards drove to the Raiders 32 before the Raiders made stop in the backfield on 3rd and 1. LB Khalil Mack forced a fumble on a 3rd and 1 carry but the Cardinals recovered. K Chandler Catanzaro came on and missed a 54-yard field goal. 

The Raiders took over at the 44-yard line with 3:56 left in the 1st quarter. The Cardinals forced another 3-and-out and King came on to punt. WR J.J. Nelson called for and made a fair catch at the Arizona 9-yard line after a 49-yard punt. The Raiders were called for illegal formation and the 5-yard penalty was enforced at the end of the kick. The Cardinals started their next possession at the 14. 

The Raiders forced a 3-and-out of their own and Zastudil came on to punt. Carrie returned the 36-yard punt 7 yards to the Arizona 44. The Raiders first 1st down of the night came on 3rd and 16 with an 18-yard pass to TE Mychal Rivera. The Raiders were forced to settle for a 33-yard field goal. The kick was good and the Raiders led 6-0 with 5 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. 

Williams watched Janikowski's ensuing kickoff sail into the stands for a touchback. The Cardinals drove into Raiders territory but rookie DE Mario Edwards Jr dropped Palmer for a 7-yard loss on 3rd and long. Catanzaro came on and drilled a 53-yard field goal to cut the Raiders lead to 6-3 with 11:55 left in the 2nd quarter. 

The Raiders drove to the Arizona 24 but were forced to settle for a 42-yard field goal. Janikowski's third kick of the night gave the Raiders a 9-3 lead with 8:04 left in the 2nd quarter. 

Williams returned Janikowski's line-drive kickoff 26 yards to the Arizona 21. After two tackles for loss, the Cardinals faced 3rd and 15. Palmer's 3rd down pass was incomplete and Zastudil came on to punt. The punt went out of bounds at the Oakland 38. 

The Raiders went three-and-out and King came on to punt. Nelson called for and made a far catch after a 46-yard punt at the Arizona 12. Mack ended this Cardinals drive with a 3rd and 10 sack and Zastudil came on to punt. Carries was dropped at the Arizona 46 after a short return. A illegal block in the back penalty backed the Raiders up to their 44. The Raiders drove to the 6, but Carr overthrew WR Michael Crabtree in the back on the end zone on 3rd and goal from the 10. Janikowski's 28-yard field goal put the Raiders up 12-3 with 1:15 left in the 2nd quarter. 

Janikowski's ensuing kickoff skipped into the end zone for a touchback. Nate Allen grabbed his second pick of the night and returned it to the Cardinals 29. The Raiders were forced to settle for another field goal attempt. Janikowski's 5th of the night, a 32-yarder, was good and gave the Raiders a 15-3 lead with 33 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. 

Williams returned the ensuing kickoff to the Arizona 29. Palmer got the Cardinals to the Raiders 46. Mack ended this drive too with another sack as Palmer looked to go deep with a Hail Mary to end the half. The Raiders led 15-3 at the break. 

Catanzaro's opening kickoff of the 3rd quarter sailed out of the end zone for a touchback. The Cards got back in the game with an 81-yard pick six in the hands of CB Cariel Brooks on what looked like a blown up screen pass. The extra point was good and the Raiders lead was cut to 15-10 with 8:46 left in the 3rd quarter. 

The ensuing kickoff flew out of the end zone for a touchback and Christian Ponder took over at quarterback. The Raiders drive to the Arizona 43 before the Cards forced a punt. P Steven Clark's punt landed in the end zone for a touchback. 

Drew Stanton entered the game at quarterback for the Cardinals. Stanton capped the 80-yard drive with an 8-yard TD pass to RB David Johnson. The two-point conversion failed but the Cards claimed a 16-15 lead with 14:56 left to play. 

The Raiders managed one first down before the Cards forced a punt. WR Jaxon Shipley returned the Clark punt to the Arizona 36. An illegal formation penalty on the Raiders put the Cardinals on the 41. Phillip Sims entered the game at quarterback for the Cardinals. 

Sims capped the drive with a 10-yard TD pass to Williams. Catanzaro's extra point was good and the Cardinals led 23-15 with 5:44 left in the game. 

George Atkinson III returned the ensuing kickoff to the Oakland 17. Matt McGloin entered the game at quarterback for the Silver and Black. On 2nd goal at the 4, McGloin hit WR Kris Durham for a 4-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone. McGloin's 2-point conversion pass to Butler was good and the game was tied 23-23 with 2:18 left in the game. 

Shipley returned K Giorgio Tavecchio's ensuing kickoff and a holding penalty on the return backed the Cards up to the 10. Logan Thomas entered the game at quarterback. Marion Grice put the Cards up 29-23 with a 11-yard TD run. The extra point was good and the Cards led 30-23 with 31 seconds left.

Atkinson returned the ensuing kickoff to the 23. The Raiders were unable to score on their final possession as time ran out. The Raiders fall to 1-2 on the preseason and head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks Thursday night.

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