The Oakland Raiders will open the 2016 preseason with a road game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Friday, Aug. 12 at 7:00 p.m. PT. Following the first two weeks at the team's summer home in Napa, Head Coach Jack Del Rio will begin his second season at the helm of the Silver and Black. Oakland's preseason slate in 2016 features two road contests (Arizona, Green Bay) followed by two games at home (Tennessee, Seattle).
Here is the Game Preview, presented by 95.7 The GAME.
Date:Friday, Aug. 12Kickoff:7:00 p.m. PTSite:University of Phoenix Stadium (2006)Capacity/Surface:63,400/Natural GrassPreseason:Series tied, 7-7Regular Season:Raiders lead, 5-4
Friday's contest will mark the Raider debut for several significant offseason additions, as free agents LB Bruce Irvin, S Reggie Nelson, G/T Kelechi Osemele and CB Sean Smith don the Silver and Black for the first time. A number of Raider rookies will make their first appearance for Oakland, including 2016 draft picks S Karl Joseph (first round), DL Jihad Ward (second round), LB Shilique Calhoun (third round), QB Connor Cook (fourth round) and RB DeAndré Washington (fifth round). Five of the team's six Pro Bowlers from last year return to action for the Raiders, as QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper, DE Khalil Mack, RB Latavius Murray and FB Marcel Reece will all play in their first preseason game of 2016.
Following Friday's game, the Raiders will return to Napa, breaking camp on Aug. 16 before the next road contest against the Packers on Aug. 18. The Cardinals will travel to San Diego to play the Chargers in their second preseason game.
Play-by-play: Beth Mowins
Flagship: 95.7 The Game
The Raiders willl open the preseason on the road for just the second time in the last six seasons, as they also opened the 2014 preseason campaign on the road in Minnesota against the Vikings. It also marks the fourth time in the last six years that the Silver and Black have played the Cardinals, but the first trip to Arizona since 2012. Oakland's last trip to Arizona in the regular season came in 2010, with the Cardinals winning, 24-23. The Raiders will look to stop a four-game skid against the Cardinals in the preseason.
• Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie was a linebacker with the Phoenix Cardinals from 1989-90, where he played with Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell (running back/return specialist) in 1989.
• Raiders wide receivers coach Rob Moore finished his playing career with seven seasons (1995-2001) as an Arizona Cardinal.
• Raiders DT Dan Williams spent five seasons (2010-14) with the Cardinals after being drafted by Arizona in the 2010 NFL Draft.
• Raiders CB Sean Smith and Cardinals S Tyvon Branch spent one season together in the secondary of the Kansas City Chiefs (2015), before departing to their respected teams. Branch was also originally drafted by the Raiders in 2008 as a fourth-round pick. He spent seven years with the Raiders from 2008-14.
Take a look back at the Raiders vs Cardinals series through the years.
• Cardinals QB Carson Palmer played two seasons (2011-12) with the Raiders, appearing in 25 games with 24 starts and totaling 6,771 passing yards with 35 TDs and 30 INTs. Palmer also played with Raiders S Reggie Nelson during his final season for the Cincinnati Bengals, Nelson's first (2010).
• Cardinals T Jared Veldheer was originally a third-round pick (69th overall) of the Raiders in the 2010 NFL Draft and went on to start 48 games for Oakland from 2010-13.
• Cardinals linebackers coach Bob Sanders held the same position with the Raiders from 2013-14.
• Cardinals cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross coached safeties with the Raiders from 2010-11.
• Cardinals T John Wetzel was originally signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2013 before being waived in training camp that same year.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (linebacker) and offensive line coach Mike Tice (tight end) played under Cardinals assistant head coach/offense Tom Moore with the Minnesota Vikings from 1992-93, where Moore was the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/wide receivers. Moore also coached assistant DBs coach Rod Woodson with the Steelers from 1987-89.
• Raiders WR Andre Holmes and Cardinals T Jared Veldheer are two of only six players in NFL history from Division II Hillsdale College, and their meeting in Week 7 of 2014 marked the second ever meeting between two players from Hillsdale.
• Raiders WR Amari Cooper played for the University of Alabama when Cardinals offensive assistant Kevin Garver served as an offensive analyst during the 2012 Crimson Tide National Championship season. Cooper also spent the 2014 season receiving passes from Cardinals QB Jake Coker.
• Raiders DE Khalil Mack played for the University of Buffalo in 2013 when Cardinals strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris served as the Director of Sports Performance there.
• Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor attended Stanford from 2009-12 and rushed for 40 touchdowns in his career, while Cardinals DE Josh Mauro played at Stanford from 2010-13. Raiders offensive quality control coach Nick Holz (offensive assistant/quarterbacks, 2008-11) was at Stanford with Taylor and Mauro.
• Raiders team travel and logistics coordinator Pete Caracciolo's brother, Matt Caracciolo, works as football operations coordinator for the Cardinals.
• Cardinals LB Tristan Okpalau Okpalaugo is a Livermore, Calif., native and attended Granada High School.
Overview: Head Coach Bruce Arians enters his fourth season at the helm of the Cardinals, winning 34 regular season games in his first three years in Arizona. After taking his team to the conference championship for the first time since their Super Bowl XLIII appearance, the Cardinals enter the 2016 season looking to make another deep run in the playoffs. The matchup marks the third straight year the teams have met in either the preseason or regular season, the Cardinals winning the last two.
Offense: The Cardinals potent offense, which finished atop the league in yards per game (408.3), yards per play (6.28) and net passing yards per attempt (8.21), is led by 13-year veteran QB Carson Palmer. Their eighth ranked rushing offense (119.8 yards per game) was led by the duo of RBs Chris and David Johnson. While C. Johnson finished with 814 yards in just 11 games played, D. Johnson accounted for a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. The three-headed monster consisting of John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd accounted for the second-highest receiving yardage amongst any trio of WRs in the league last season (3,067). The leader of the triplets, Fitzgerald, enters his 10th year in the NFL and is currently 14th on the all-time receiving yards list.
Defense: James Bettcher enters his fourth season as a member of the Cardinals coaching staff and second as the defensive coordinator. Bettcher has fielded a top-10 defense in points allowed per game in both his years as defensive coordinator, and finished the 2015 season ranked fifth overall in total defense. The Cardinals finished second in total turnovers forced, and were led by S Tyrann Mathieu, who recorded five interceptions. CB Patrick Peterson returns to a Cardinals unit that limited opposing quarterbacks to a rating of just 49.0 against Cardinals' defense, 10th best in the NFL in 2015.
• The Raiders are 129-124-1 (.510) all-time in preseason contests.
• Oakland faced all four preseason opponents in 2015. The Raiders saw the Cardinals and Seahawks in last year's preseason and played the Packers and Titans in the regular season.
• The Raiders will face an AFC team in the preseason for the first time since they played at Tennessee in 2008.
• The Raiders will travel to Arizona in Week 1 of the preseason, marking the first exhibition meeting at University of Phoenix Stadium between the teams since 2012.
• This will mark the second time in the past three years that the Raiders will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers in the preseason.
• For the third consecutive year, Oakland's Week 3 preseason game will be on national television, as they host the Titans on CBS Sunday Night Football. Last season, the Raiders hosted the Cardinals on NBC.
• The Raiders will conclude their preseason slate at home against the Seahawks. The game will mark the 11th straight season that the Raiders have concluded their preseason schedule against the Seahawks, with three of those 11 games coming in Oakland.