Gutierrez's Instant Replay: Cardinals 31, Raiders 27


Gutierrez's Instant Replay: Cardinals 31, Raiders 27


ARIZONA -- The Raiders' first-team offense, especially the passing game in which Carson Palmer had a passer rating of just 48.4 after completing 13 of 24 for 107 yards and an interception, looked skittish, not to mention the zone-blocking scheme. Oakland's first-team defense, however, looked dominant at times and dominated the line of scrimmage. Special teams? Yeah, the Raiders have some work to do there. In all, the Raiders had two turnovers and a blocked punt that led to 17 points for the Cardinals. Yeah, the Raiders have some work to do still in this preseason.Run DMC shows explosionkinda: A week ago, Darren McFadden touched the ball three times and came away with 38 yards. This time, McFadden had 10 touches for 51 yards, though that number might be a little misleading since 39 of those yards came on two plays, a 22-yard run and a 17-yard catch and run. Other than that, he had three carries for no gain, including twice from the 1-yard line. At least he emerged unscathed, unlike...Injury bug bites: Receiverreturner Jacoby Ford and running back Mike Goodson both left the game in the first half with foot and chest injuries, respectively. Goodson, who missed last week's opener after a scary-looking neck injury, fumbled twice and left the game after his second, when he was popped by linebacker Reggie Walker. Then there was backup quarterback Matt Leinart going out in the third quarter.Speaking of Ford: So much was made this week of Jacoby Ford needed to atone for his poor game Monday. And sure enough, he caught both passes thrown his way and did not muff any returns. But his going out late in the first quarter with a foot injury is troubling in that he was plagued by injury last year, when he suffered a broken hand in camp, a strained hamstring in the opener and a sprained foot midseason that limited him to just eight games. He was on the bench in street clothes with crutches.Leinart's finger: Matt Leinart was quietly dissecting the Cardinals defense when third-string nose tackle Ricky Lumpkin's cheap shot on a helmet-to-helmet hit knocked him out. Leinart was driven off the field in a cart with his right index finger heavily taped. Leinart was five-of-eight passing for 66 yards at the time.Streater keeps streaking: With Ford sidelines, undrafted rookie revelation Rod Streater jumped in with the first team offense and kept his hot exhibition season going. At halftime, Streater had seven catches for 43 yards, giving him 13 receptions for 109 yards in two games.T.K. with the TKO?: Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly dominated the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, so much so that Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb is sure to have nightmares about him. Especially after his first-quarter safety.Um, DVD?: DeMarcus Van Dyke, the early-camp standout who had a rough go of it last week against the Cowboys, had another tough night against the Cardinals. DeMarco Sampson beat him bad on a long ball down the left sideline and then, one play later, his missed tackle enabled William Powell to run the ball in from nine yards out for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Stephen Williams beat him later for a 31-yard pickup.

Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain


Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Raiders are remarkably healthy heading into Sunday night’s game against the Washington football club.

The entire 53-man roster practiced fully on Friday, before heading to the nation’s capital.

That includes veteran cornerback Sean Smith, who missed the previous game with a neck injury. A shoulder ailment cropped up during the week, which prompted the Raiders to label him questionable heading into Week 3. Smith’s the only Raider on the injury report, and even he’s in decent shape.

“I mean we put it on there because there’s still a little bit of a question,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “You don’t have probable’s anymore. Given the choices, I just left him that way.”

That means the Raiders are going to have some healthy scratches a week after Smith was the only injured player sitting out.

Washington has some impact players on the mend. That included tight end Jordan Reed, who is questionable with a rib/sternum injury. He stands 6-foot-2, 246 pounds and is the type of receiving tight end that gives the Raiders fits. He has 1,638 yards 17 touchdowns the last two seasons, using good hands and a large frame to create mismatches in the secondary.

It’ll be key for the Raiders to defend him well if he’s active, with Nicholas Morrow as a primary coverage option.

“We’re prepared to face him,” Del Rio said. “We think he’s a good player. We’ll approach it that way and adjust if he doesn’t go.”

Washington also lists starting inside linebacker Mason Foster and running back Rob Kelley as questionable.

Raiders Injury Report
CB Sean Smith (neck/shoulder)

Washington Injury Report

TE Jordan Reed (rib/sternum), LB Mason Foster (shoulder), RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Monate Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder)

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Raiders safety Karl Joseph notched his first career forced fumble in Week 2’s blowout victory over the New York Jets. It came on his first sack, where he bent around a tackle into the pocket and devoured his pray.

Joseph recovered the ball, and the Raiders quickly scored a touchdown. The second-year pro enjoyed that moment, but left the game with regrets.

"I should have definitely had more sacks than I did,” Joseph said. “I feel like I should have had three.”

Joseph had quarterback Josh McCown in the crosshairs three times, and feels like he should’ve finished each one. The game plan provided opportunity. Joseph blitzed six times – fellow safety Reggie Nelson attacked thrice – and pressured the quarterback four times.

It was a relatively new responsibility, considering he blitzed nine times all last year. Joseph will be first to say he was a different player then. He was less explosive, more tentative and a smidge less confident, lingering effects from an ACL tear during his final college season. Joseph was cleared to play as a rookie but wasn’t all the way back, doubly hampered by missing an offseason program where rookies grow quick.

"I wasn’t completely myself,” Joseph said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports California. “I feel a lot more like myself this year. I obviously feel better physically, and the year of experience in the system has definitely helped. So has adjusting to the NFL life. That’s been an easier transition for me.”

Joseph is playing more like his highlight reel from West Virginia, where he proved a heavy hitter and a solid cover man worthy of last year’s No. 14 overall draft pick. The Jets game isn’t the only evidence of that.

Joseph had an excellent training camp, flashing an aggressive style and solid timing making plays in practice. That translated to the regular-season opener at Tennessee, when he saved a touchdown on consecutive plays. The first came on an open-field tackle. The second was a leaping pass breakup in the end zone, proof positive that Joseph was ready to make a big impact.

"He’s really good close to the line of scrimmage,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "He’s a really good tackler in the open field. He also plays well on the back end. I think his development is right on time right now.”

The Raiders recognize that, and are using him like a queen on the chessboard. He can move back or forward, as an attacker or the last line of defense. He’s a rover at times, with an ability to create havoc at all levels of the defense.

Joseph is an excellent fit for the defensive scheme, bring a tone-setting physicality to the secondary. He is learning, as part of his development, that the nuclear option isn’t always best. There are times when it is, and Joseph enters those scenarios without fear.

"You can’t play worried about getting hurt. That’s not the way I play,” Joseph said. “It’s about being smart. I had to adjust my game coming into the NFL. Every hit can’t be a big hit. Sometimes you have to be smart and just wrap people up, but you can’t ever play scared.”

He isn’t afraid to take risks or attack when asked, and is already making a major impact on this year’s defense. That isn’t a surprise. It’s expected of first-round picks.

"That’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s supposed to make plays,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy we selected because we thought he’d be a guy that could come in and impact on our defense. In the first two games of this year he’s played well. There are still things, like I tell you all the time, that have cleaning up to do, work to do, things to improve on, but he’s off to a good start and obviously it follows up from a good offseason. Healthy, a lot of good work and confidence that he’s gaining as we go.”