The score was 24-18, but it was another number – the 17 in silver on a black jersey -- that may be most remembered from Thursday night’s exhibition game in Oakland.
Denarius Moore, the talk of Raiders training camp, did some more things worth talking about in his debut against live NFL competition in Oakland’s loss to Arizona.
That the Raiders lost will barely be remembered. It’s August, right? Hue Jackson’s real coaching debut doesn’t come until Sept. 12 in Denver.
Max Hall’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams with 39 seconds left gave the Cardinals the win, trumping a 57-yard field goal off the dirt by Sebastian Janikowski that had put the Raiders on top two minutes earlier.
But it was Moore’s exploits long before Hall’s and Janikowski’s that continued to open eyes in the Bay Area.
On the first play of the second quarter, Jason Campbell found Moore free on a crossing route for a 26-yard gain. Later, Moore caught passes of 2 and 9 yards, finishing with three receptions for 37 yards. He also returned a kickoff 18 yards and two punts a total of 8 yards.
But what doesn’t show up is the 56-yard punt return he broke in the third quarter, much of it wiped out by a penalty.
Not a bad debut for the fifth-round pick from Tennessee.
Among the other other highlights were:
- Rookie cornerback Sterling Moore putting together a pass breakup and sack on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter;
- Janikowski’s four field goals;
- Backup QB Trent Edwards completing 10 of 19 throws for 140 yards, including a perfect 18-yard TD strike to rookie tight end David Ausberry;
- And Jackson, throwing the challenge flag as a head coach for the first time, and winning it.
However, there were some low points, too. Safety Hiram Eugene had to be taken off the field for an undisclosed injury – early reports indicated it may have been a knee – and the play of backup cornerbacks, Walter McFadden and DeMarcus Van Dyke, wasn’t strong, Tweeted the Chronicle’s Vittorio Tafur.
Starting corners Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson played only one series before being replaced, but for Routt, even that was enough.
“Oh, man, it was good to be out there getting the kinks off, sorting out some of the rust,” Routt told the Chronicle.
The Raiders’ next opportunity comes Saturday, Aug. 20, vs. the 49ers.