Raiders Lose Heartbreaker to Cardinals 24-23

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Raiders TE Zach Miller scores on a 22-yard pass from QB Bruce Gradkowski. AP Photo.

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Oakland Raiders 24-23 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona in 2010 Regular Season Week 3 action.

The Raiders won the coin toss but elected to defer their choice to the start of the second half. RB LaRod Stephens-Howling returned K Sebastian Janikowski's opening kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. K Jay Feely's extra point was good and the Cardinals took a 7-0 lead with 14:46 left in the first quarter.

RB Rock Cartwright returned the ensuing kickoff 24 yards to the Raiders 48. The Raiders were unable to mount a scoring drive and P Shane Lechler came on to kick. Lechler's 47-yard punt was downed inside the Cardinals 5-yard line.

The Raiders held the Cardinals to a three-and-out. WR Johnnie Lee Higgins returned the P Ben Graham punt to the Raiders 42. QB Bruce Gradkowski capped the 58-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to TE Zach Miller. Janikowski's extra point was good and the game was tied 7-7 with 10:54 left in the first quarter.

Stephens-Howling returned the ensuing kickoff 13 yards to the Cardinals 35. The Cardinals picked up a first down on a pass interference call, but the Raiders stiffened and forced a punt. Graham's kick was downed at the Raiders 5. The Cardinals forced a three-and-out. LS Jon Condo recovered a muffed punt at the Arizona 28. A 20-yard pass to Miller put the Raiders in a goal to go situation. Janikowski's 22-yard field goal gave the Raiders a 10-7 lead with 6:42 left I the first quarter.

Janikowski's ensuing kickoff went for a touchback and the Cardinals began their next possession at their own 20. Feely tied the game at 10-10 with a 42-yard field goal to culminate a 5-play, 56-yard drive with 3:55 left in the first quarter.

 Rookie WR Jacoby Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to the Raiders 38. The Raiders drove to the Arizona 37 before having to settle for a Janikowski 55-yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and the Raiders took a 13-10 lead late in the first quarter.

QB Derek Anderson capped a 12-play, 76-yard drive with a 2-yard TD pass to WR Steve Breaston. The extra point was good and Arizona took 17-13 lead with 10:44 left in the 2nd quarter.

Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 21 yards to the Oakland 23. The Raiders picked up a couple of first downs before the Cardinals forced a punt. Breaston fielded Lechler's kick and was dropped at the Arizona 5. After a pealty gave the Cardinals a first down, the Raiders defense held on 3rd and 9 and forced a punt. Graham's kick was downed at the Raiders 43. A personal foul on the Cardinals at the end of the punt moved the Raiders into Arizona territory to the 42. A Gradkowski pass was tipped and picked off and returned to the Arizona 34. A few plays later, LB Quentin Groves intercepted a deflected Anderson pass at the Raiders 31.

RB Darren McFadden propelled the Raiders down the field on a 69-yard drive which he finished with a 2-yard TD run over the left side. The extra point was good and the Raiders took a 20-17 lead with 10 seconds left in the first half.

After the ensuing kickoff, a short return and a RB Tim Hightower run, the Raiders took a 20-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Raiders went three and out to start the second half. Lechler punted the ball back to the Cardinals. The Cardinals drove to the Raiders 49 before LB Kamerion Wimbley and DT Richard Seymour combined for a 3rd down sack to force a punt. The Raiders took over at their own 11 after a short punt return.

Three plays later, WR Louis Murphy took a short throw from Gradkowski, broke a tackle and raced 70 yards before he was brought down at the Arizona 13. A holding call put the Raiders behind in the down and distance. The Raiders were unable to convert on 3rd and 20 and Janikowski came on for a field goal attempt. The 41-yard attempt was wide right and the Cardinals took over at their own 31.

The Cardinals reclaimed the lead when Anderson found WR Larry Fitzgerald for an 8-yard TD pass. The extra point put Arizona ahead 24-20 with 1:01 left in the 3rd quarter.

Ford fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone for a touchback. The Raiders were unable to mount a drive and Lechler came on to punt. Groves recovered a muffed punt at the Arizona 16. Janikowski cut the Cardinals lead to 24-23 with a 23-yard field goal with 7:59 left in the 4th quarter.

Stephens-Howling returned the ensuing kickoff to the Arizona 24-yard line. Thanks to Arizona penalties and stout run defense, the Raiders held and Graham came on to punt. Higgins returned the kick to the Oakland 30.

 The Raiders drove into Cardinals territory but Janikowski missed a 58-yard field goal attempt wide right. The Raiders held and forced a Graham punt which bounced through the end zone for a touchback.

The Raiders got to the Cardinals 14 and Janikowski missed a 32-yard field goal as time expired and Arizona claimed a 24-23 victory.

The Raiders fall to 1-2 and return home to face the Houston Texans at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the Raiders celebrate Hispanic Heritage during the 9th Annual Fiesta Latina.

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