Raiders sit stars; Lynch sits during anthem in loss to Cardinals

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

The Oakland Raiders did not figure to risk injury to any of their star or front-line players in their preseason opener Saturday night, and they stayed true to that summation. Instead, it was a showcase for many of their second-tier starters and rookies trying to get a feel for hitting someone else in another jersey. It did not exactly go well for them in a 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.

QB depth chart: EJ Manuel appeared to maintain his hold on the No. 2 gig over Connor Cook. Manuel completed 10 of 12 passes for 102 yards while playing the entire first half. Cook, meanwhile, looked uneasy early in the second half and finished 10-for-21 for 82 yards. Derek Carr need not look over his shoulder.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Raiders looked ...:Well, it was hard to make an assessment here considering so many Oakland starters did not play, from Carr to running back Marshawn Lynch, to receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, to defensive end Khalil Mack, to outside linebacker Bruce Irvin. But consider this -- the Raiders primary backups were outscored 17-0 by the Cardinals first- and second-stringers.

One reason to be concerned: The Raiders still have issues at middle linebacker because their starting middle linebacker, fifth-round draft pick Marquel Lee, played, well, like a fifth-round rookie. True, he did flash a couple of times, from breaking up a pass across the middle to picking up a fumble. But he struggled in coverage against tight ends -- sound familiar? -- and got pushed around at other times. He was wearing the green communications dot on his helmet, too. Another reason? The Cardinals were a staggering 13-of-19 on third down.

That guy could start: Well, if were talking linebackers, LaTroy Lewis came out of nowhere to record a pair of sacks, even if it was against third-teamers and guys who wont make 53-man rosters. Then again, rookie defensive tackle Treyvon Hester also had two sacks, and the seventh-rounder was running with the first-team defense heading into camp, before fellow rookie Eddie Vanderdoes overtook him at the beginning of training camp.


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