Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Week 3 NFL Game Preview

The Oakland Raiders brought in Jason Campbell in the offseason in hopes of solving their woes at the quarterback position. After winning the starting job, Campbell went 22 of 37 for 180 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 38-13 season-opening loss at Tennessee. After watching Campbell post a quarterback rating of just 42.9 in the first half of last week’s game with St. Louis, coach Tom Cable made the decision to pull Campbell in favor of Bruce Gradkowski.

Gradkowski, who led the Raiders to two of their five wins in four starts last season, helped bring the Raiders back from a 7-3 deficit to earn a 16-14 win. Coach Cable has now named Gradkowski the new starter, and he will try to lead Oakland to consecutive wins for the first time in nearly two years Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. According to the latest NFL odds, the Cardinals are a 4.5-point favorite with the total set at 39.5.

Gradkowski is not the perfect quarterback, but he has a level of toughness and passion that the Raiders seem to rally around. Plus, he has shown better escapability than Campbell. Gradkowski is able to keep plays alive with his scrambling ability, while Campbell takes sacks far too often.  Campbell has already gone down six times in just 52 pass attempts. That’s nearly one sack every eight passes.

Gradkowski will benefit from one of the league’s best rushing attacks. Oakland’s 154.5 rushing yards per game are good for third in the league. That’s a huge improvement from the 106.3 the Raiders averaged in 2009.

A healthy Darren McFadden is a big reason why the Raiders are gobbling up yards on the ground. The former Arkansas star ranks No. 2 in the NFL with 240 yards. He gashed St. Louis for 145 yards last week.

The ground game figures to be the key to defeating an Arizona team that is allowing 153.0 rushing yards through the first two weeks. The Cardinals were pounded for 221 yards on the ground in last we...

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