One of the surprises from this weekend’s past pre-season game was I didn’t bet on the Cardinals to beat the favored Packers. Newly built teams with a lot to prove and evaluate should be favored against established winners in the pre-season.
Overall the team looked decent and there were plenty of positive surprises which are in a different piece. I found a few negative performances or areas that will be highlighted below.
The running back scenario coming into the game wasn’t a surprise as fans knew the top two backs were injured days prior to the game. It’s still a negative in that the coaches and fans didn’t get to see the “game-time” speed and production from Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams. Williams needed it the most as he is looking to fall down the depth chart and may lose his spot to rookie grinder Stephan Taylor.
The first couple pre-season games are predicted to be sloppy but I was surprised as to how un-organized and sloppy the huddles and play-calling were. I saw a lot of miscommunication on the defense and offense alike. Even little details like Tyrann Mathieu telegraphing his blitz like many of his fellow defenders did throughout the game but to his credit he still got his target.
Tight-end rookie D.C Jefferson was a surprise in that they tried to involve him into the passing game and like his draft sheet stated he wasn’t strong in pass catching. Its good they gave him a chance to surprise the critics but his showing didn’t help him at all. He may still make the team but it’s hard to see the logic as the scheme requires a dual threat tight-end.
Finally an extra point on the extra point squad. Jay Feely may be accurate and a good leader but his age is showing in leg strength. The coaching staff got pro-active by bringing in a young leg to challenge and compete with the veteran but after Will Batley missed his second field goal attempt with easy distances the competition was over and the poor guy looked like he just wanted to go home.