Rookie Murray struggles; Raiders roll past Cardinals
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — If the realities of facing an NFL defense that turned up its pass rush, and dealing with penalties, missed receivers and an interpretation of the rules didn’t hit Kyler Murray in his Arizona Cardinals debut last week, they undoubtedly did Thursday night.
Murray’s second outing as an NFL quarterback didn’t go nearly as well as his first, and the Oakland Raiders moved the ball with ease on the Cardinals’ top defensive units in Oakland’s 33-26 preseason win at State Farm Stadium.
The first overall pick in this year’s draft who looked sharp in his debut last Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers, finished 3 of 8 for 12 yards. He also ran once for 4 yards, and the Cardinals went three-and-out on two of his four series.
“It obviously wasn’t as polished as we would like it to be, but it’s a learning experience,” Murray said. “It’s football. We didn’t look as good as we would like to look. But it’s the preseason. I don’t want to say it’s not real, but it’s not the regular season. We’re not doing everything that we’re going to do.”
Raiders backup Mike Glennon completed 11 of 14 passes for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Oakland defense tackled Murray in the end zone for a safety to lead the Raiders to their second preseason win.
Derek Carr, the Raiders’ No. 1 quarterback, played one series and led a touchdown drive, going 2 for 2 for 40 yards in his preseason debut. Carr threw 13 yards to Ryan Grant for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, and former Cardinal Glennon picked up where Carr left off.
Glennon engineered three scoring drives, one ending in a deep pass over the middle to a wide-open Rico Gafford, who got free on what appeared to a busted coverage. Gafford scored a 53-yard touchdown with 2:33 left in the first quarter.
“It felt like the offense really moved the ball well, a real good job at protection,” Glennon said.
The Cardinals couldn’t get out of their own way with Murray guiding the No. 1 offense. Six penalties for 45 yards while Murray was in the game didn’t help, and Murray himself was flagged twice for false starts. He was sacked by the Raiders’ Brandon Marshall in the second quarter, and two plays later went down in the end zone for a safety credited to Oakland’s Lamarcus Joyner.
“Apparently I was just too abrupt, not smooth enough as far as bringing my hands together goes,” Murray said of the two calls against him made before shotgun snaps when he clapped his hands together. “To me it’s like any other hard count. It’s the defense’s job to watch the ball, so it doesn’t really make sense to me.”
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was the first time certain officials have seen a hand clap of that fashion prior to a snap.
“We’ve been in contact with the league,” he said. “We’re going to work through that. We want to be on the same page with them and make sure we’re doing things that they deem legal.”
Backup Brett Hundley came on for Murray late in the second quarter, and after a pass interference penalty against the Raiders, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield.
Zane Gonzalez kicked field goals of 22 and 45 yards for the Cardinals. Arizona scored a pair of late touchdowns to cut into a 33-13 deficit.
A.B. IN THE HOUSE
Raiders star wide receiver Antonio Brown came out for pregame warmups in full uniform and pads - and a league-sanctioned helmet - and caught passes. He didn’t play in the game.
Brown lost his grievance with the NFL on Monday over his use of an old helmet that is no longer certified as safe to use for practice or play.
Brown has been limited in training camp with injuries to his feet that reportedly came from frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment.
“Hell yeah it was encouraging,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “You know it’s been a strange couple of weeks with frostbite and the helmet grievance. ... It’s great to see him out there with his teammates. He appears in great spirits and appears like he’s ready to get going.”
Gruden said he’s optimistic Brown will practice soon.
Hundley hit Sherfield for a touchdown for the second time in two preseason games. The first was a 22-yard strike last Thursday, also in the second quarter.
Hundley finished 10 of 15 for 139 yards, and ran three times for 26 yards.
“Trent’s doing a great job and for us the last two games, back-to-back throwing to the same spot,” Hundley said.
The Cardinals totaled 14 penalties for 108 yards, and allowed 123 rushing yards a week after giving up 179 to the Chargers.
“We obviously have to clean that up,” Kingsbury said. “Really had some costly ones offensively that are hurting some of our drives.”
Cardinals: CB Robert Alford, a projected starter, suffered a lower leg injury Tuesday in practice and is expected to miss extended time into the regular season, Kingsbury said.
Raiders: WR J.J. Nelson sprained an ankle in the game.
Raiders: vs. Green Bay next Thursday.
Cardinals: at Minnesota on Aug. 24.
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