The Arizona Cardinals had several positives to take from their first preseason game. Any fan who has watched this team the past four years could easily tell you what the best ones were. One, the quarterbacks had zero pressure, and their jerseys were still bleach white once the game ended. Two, the quarterbacks had two touchdown passes, in one game. You heard me right. That didn’t happen very often last year. Three, the defensive starting unit and even backups didn’t seem to miss a beat from last year.
When I watched the game, the first thing I wanted to see was the quarterback pressure. Every drop back I watched Carson Palmer diligently. He had absolutely no pressure and was able to step up into the pocket and deliver the football. That is what gives the team the ability to throw a 20-yard pass play from their own one yard line instead of the running back running into a pile of dust three straight times and punting.
The quarterback play itself of Palmer and Drew Stanton was solid. I don’t remember the last time I could say that. 2009? Even Ryan Lindley seemed to more of a presence within the pocket. Palmer hit Andre Roberts for a 38-yard touchdown pass and could have easily had more. Palmer took several shots down field that just missed. I’m excited to see this offense continue to evolve.
The defense wasn’t great, but they were stingy. They gave up a penalty and a big play on a blown assignment that allowed Green Bay to line up inside the five. But, as we’ve become accustomed to, on the goal line when it mattered most they held them to zero. In a regular season game it would have been three, but we’ll definitely take that when you’ve put Aaron Rodgers inside the five.
I will continue to look at these factors in the game this weekend, and I will also look at the running back situation. That needs to improve, still.