If the 1-8 Oakland Raiders were to schedule a game against the 2-7 Arizona Cardinals, would anybody really even care?
Apparently in Las Vegas, which will be the new home to the Raiders in 2020, not really. The local television station affiliate that has been broadcasting Raiders game all years decided to take a pass on this one until Raider Nation raised a ruckus and forced them to air the game anyhow.
Despite the miserable season on both sides, the game must be played, so there are matchups to be talked about. First, can the Raiders pull out of the funk of a five-game losing streak against the Cardinals?
Neither team offers much in terms of either offense or defense. The Raiders have the 22nd overall offense and are 27th in defense. The Cardinals are last in offense and 20th in defense. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is having, well, a rookie-like year.
On offense, the Raiders will have to find a way to stop a good Cardinals pass rush, led by Chandler Jones. The Cardinals sacked Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes five times last week, with Jones recording two.
On defense, the Raiders will have to deal with a resurgent David Johnson, who has 189 yards from scrimmage last week against the Chiefs and scored two touchdowns.
The Raiders listed a number of players on their injury report, but only two did not participate in practice on Thursday: wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson.
The Cardinals had five players who didn’t practice on Thursday: Safeties Budda Baker and Rudy Ford, defensive tackle Rodney Gunter, offensive lineman D.J. Humphries and wide receiver Chad Williams.
The Cardinal opened as a 4-point favorite, but have been bet up to 5.5 points. The total opened at 41 and remained there.
Game time is 1:05 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona.