Cardinals win! 3 big takeaways from preseason victory over Raiders

Cardinals win! 3 big takeaways from preseason victory over Raiders
Posted at 9:58 PM, Aug 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-13 13:09:41-04

The Arizona Cardinals' first home preseason game of 2017 resulted in their first preseason win -- a 20-10 victory over the visiting Oakland Raiders at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Here are three big takeaways from the win. SEE ALSO: 3 takeaways from the Cardinals' starters vs. the Raiders

1. Stanton answers Gabbert's challenge.

Third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert was outstanding in his first action in a Cardinals uniform, completing 11 of 14 passes for 185 yards and leading the Cards to a pair of touchdowns in last week's Hall of Fame Game.

On Saturday, second-string QB Drew Stanton did what he could to keep Gabbert from leapfrogging him in the depth chart. The 33-year-old completed 11 of 15 passes for 112 yards and a second-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Troy Niklas. Gabbert, meanwhile, completed 5 of 9 passes for 53 yards in the second half of Saturday's game.

2. Nkemdiche steps up.

The Cardinals' biggest offseason departure came in the form of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Calais Campbell, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent. But if defensive end Robert Nkemdiche continues to play the way he did Saturday, the Cardinals' defensive line might not suffer too much as a result of Campbell's departure.

Nkemdiche, the Cardinals' first-round draft pick in 2016, saw plenty of action Saturday and made a pair of fantastic back-to-back plays in the first quarter to hold the Raiders on downs. He often looked like the dominant force the team hoped he would be coming out of college, and it'll be interested to see whether he can overtake Josh Mauro for the starting job.

3. Good night for Scooby.

Linebacker and former Arizona Wildcats star Scooby Wright III was claimed by the Cardinals late last season, and he seemed to help his chances to make the Cards' 53-man regular-season roster by making some big plays against the Raiders.

In the first half, Wright made a tackle on a fourth-down play to give the Cardinals the ball. Later in the half, Wright forced a fumble on an Oakland kickoff return.