Marshawn Lynch made the biggest news of what otherwise was a routine preseason NFL game by sitting during the national anthem prior to the Oakland Raiders’ 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night in Glendale, Arizona.
The ex-Seattle running back, who came out of retirement to sign with his hometown Raiders, sat on an orange cooler with his arms resting on his knees, while others around him stood.
Although he rarely talks to the media, Lynch has voiced support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem last season to protest what he saw as a pattern of police mistreatment of people of color.
Lynch did not play in the game.
Carson Palmer threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brittan Golden to cap his brief preseason debut while Oakland quarterback Derek Carr watched the game from the sideline.
Palmer, at age 37 beginning his 15th NFL season, directed Arizona on a 12-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to start the game. It looked as if the Cardinals were headed for a short field goal, but the Raiders were called for covering the snapper on the kick, giving Arizona a first down and setting up its opening TD.
David Johnson had a 10-yard run in the opening drive. The standout running back carried three times for 16 yards before calling it a night.
Two of the Raiders’ top defensive players, All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin, joined Carr and Lynch as spectators.
While it was the preseason opener for Oakland, it was Arizona’s second outing. The Cardinals starters did not play in the team’s 20-18 loss to Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game.
Jets 7, Titans 3: Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota played his first game since breaking his right leg late last season in a 7-3 loss to New York in the preseason opener for both teams in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Mariota, who threw for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016 before his injury on Dec. 24 against Jacksonville, played two series in the first quarter.
On his first attempt, he scrambled to his right and completed a 15-yard pass to Rishard Matthews . He finished 2 of 3 for 15 yards.
Unlike the Titans, the Jets’ quarterback situation is more muddled. Well-traveled veteran Josh McCown got the start for New York. He was 3 of 4 for 72 yards and a touchdown in his one series, which was enough for the win because the Jets defense had eight sacks and was dominant throughout.
Christian Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016, took over for McCown and played until late in the third quarter. Hackenberg was 18 of 25 for 127 yards.
Bryce Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, finished up and was 2 of 6 for 16 yards.
Robby Anderson, an undrafted free agent who was trying to make the team a year ago, is the Jets’ No. 1 receiver after Quincy Enunwa was lost for the season to a neck injury. He had three receptions for 71 yards.
Anderson made a nice 53-yard catch on the opening drive, which ended with McCown’s 4-yard TD pass Charone Peake.
Titans rookie receiver Taywan Taylor made a leaping a 42-yard catch in the third quarter. The drive ended with Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal.
Titans running back Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, had eight carries for 29 yards.
Alex Tanney replaced Mariota and was sacked by linebacker Julian Stanford on his first play and briefly left the game. He returned for the next series. Tanney was 10 of 26 for 128 yards with an interception and lost a fumble on a sack.
Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker had no catches in his return to the Meadowlands. Decker was signed by the Titans in June after he was cut by the Jets in their salary purge.
Rams 13, Cowboys 10: Jared Goff led the Rams on a touchdown drive in the opening minutes, and backup kicker Travis Coons made a tiebreaking 36-yard field goal with 6:11 left in Los Angeles’ preseason victory over Dallas in Los Angeles.
Goff completed three of four passes for 34 yards while playing eight snaps in the opener for the Rams, who need the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft to take a big step forward this fall.
The Rams punted after Goff’s first three plays, but Josh Forrest recovered the Cowboys’ muffed return. Robert Woods then caught Goff’s pass and fumbled near the goal line moments later, but rookie Cooper Kupp recovered for a score.
Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott were among several starters sitting out for the Cowboys, who didn’t manage a first down until the second quarter.
Rookie Cooper Rush threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rico Gathers in the third quarter while completing his first eight passes for the Cowboys. Gathers scored in his second straight game.
Sean Mannion went 18 of 25 for 144 yards while playing most of the game. The Rams’ offense put up 271 yards in Sean McVay’s first day on the sideline as the youngest head coach in modern NFL history.
Kellen Moore went 8 for 17 in the first half for the Cowboys, but the offense perked up for Rush, the four-year starter at Central Michigan. Rush also caught the eye of Dallas coach Jason Garrett during the Hall of Fame Game last week, and his exceptional touch on the TD throw to Gathers was undeniably impressive.
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