So, at least it was the fourth preseason game. It was the final tune-up leading to the regular season opener in San Francisco next weekend. If this was a regular season game, I’d be a little more than worried about the state of Arizona Cardinals football. However you cut it, the Cardinals lost to the Denver Broncos this evening 28-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Kurt Warner may have started at quarterback, but he didn’t play long. Matt Leinart received the bulk of the work before giving way in the second half to Brian St. Pierre and Anthony Morelli. After Warner had been lobbying for more pass plays, he only ended up throwing four passes, all completions. Leinart came in and led the Cardinals on a touchdown drive in the second quarter culminating in a TD pass to TE Leonard Pope.
My gut feeling is Warner was pulled after the throwing only four passes because the final decision has been made to start him in San Francisco next week. Sure Leinart looked much better this week. Let’s remember though Denver didn’t play a single starter. That fact though is a cause for concern.
The Cardinals defense reverted back to its old ways. They were out-rushed 187-71. The run defense gave up way too many yards to Denver’s backups. It’s a little disappointing to see given the fact many players were fighting for a job. The Cardinals also committed five turnovers. Preseason or not, there is no excuse for that. Just plain sloppy. If you asked me my opinion, they all should be cut. Seriously though, this may just be a sign of things to come. Next week, its regulars vs. regulars, so that will be the test.
Overall the Cardinals finished the preseason 2-2. At times it seemed the Cardinals were just going through the motions, especially in both home games against New Orleans and Denver. This is the reason I’m a true believer in reducing the preseason to only two or three games. Make more of them count. It not only makes for more exciting football, it also helps to reduce season ending injuries in games that don’t count for much more than the sucker money fans place into owners pockets.
Next up is San Francisco. However before that, tomorrow is d-day for many players. The cut from 76 to 53 is made tomorrow. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.