PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.
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Johnathan Hankins stood out with some good plays against the run. But the real stories of the night were Benson Mayowa and Maurice Hurst‘s big games. Mayowa wrecked havoc all night against Arizona right tackle Korey Cunningham, and Hurst was an offense's worst nightmare wherever he lined up.
Fellow defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks, a favorite of Jon Gruden's in camp, turned in a solid performance in run defense against the Cardinals' offensive line. The veteran 6-foot-4, 287-pounder didn't offer much as a pass-rusher, but his run defense was strong.
After Kyler Murray struggled early, Brett Hundley came in and steadied the ship with some good throws, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield. The highlight of the second half was rookie burner Andy Isabella‘s 59-yard touchdown reception from Charles Kanoff, on which he beat Oakland defender Joshua Holsey.
Veteran defensive interior Sterling Bailey, a former undrafted free agent out of Georgia from the 2016 class, earned positive grades as a pass-rusher and in run defense to finish the game with a strong, balanced performance.
Oakland's secondary collectively was not very good Thursday night, which was the case last season as well. There were too many big plays allowed, including the 40-yard and 59-yard touchdowns previously mentioned.
The worst of the Raiders' secondary was none other than Nevin Lawson. He struggled against Arizona's speedy wideouts and was called for a penalty in the contest, as well.
Kyler Murray left a lot to be desired in his four drives to start the game. He failed to get anything going, and while much of this was due to the poor protection of the first unit offensive line (includng David Johnson and DJ Humphries), he also missed some throws he should have made. Later in the game, right tackle Korey Cunningham was a turnstile for Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa for most of the night.
JR Sweezy, along with several other Cardinals offensive linemen, struggled significantly in pass protection. He helped make a Raiders' pass-rush that ranked dead last in the NFL a year ago look like one of the league's best.
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