Cards get a B- grade for Saturday


The first glimpse of the 2007 Arizona Cardinals showed alot of things: some good, some bad, some heart, and some let downs. But all in all, I think we got a lot of things accomplished in our preseason loss to Oakland on Saturday. Coach Whisenhunt was pleased with what he saw, but recognized that this team will use every second of the off season to fine tune its problems and bring it all together. So that being said, lets take a look at what went right and what went wrong:


– As we have seen at camp so far, the first team offense struggled in the early going. QB Matt Leinart took a little more time getting into a rhythm, and Edgerrin James’ night went as expected, with 3 yards on 2 carries. But after they settled in, Leinart made good throws and Larry Fitzgerald was his usual self making a spectacular leaping catch in the first quarter.

– The starting offensive line looked sharp, allowing no sacks of both Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner, while opening up holes for both RBs JJ Arrington and Marcel Shipp . Shipp looked especially good as he rushed for 35 yards on 7 carries and Arrington rushed for 42 yards on 9 carries. The important thing here is that the Cards were able to get the ball moving on the ground and Shipp continues to look like a solid second option to balance the run game with Edge.

– The defense showed a lot of heart and tenacity. 3 fumbles caused, one recovered resulting in a touchdown for the offense. Cris Cooper was outstanding with 2 sacks while Darnell Dockett recorded one and the Cards seemed to make the transition nicely to the 3-4.


– Redzone scoring, redzone scoring, redzone scoring!! Granted it is only the preseason and it was the third string offense struggling in the second half to score in the redzone, but it’s a trend that needs to stop. The Cards were 1-3 in scoring TDs while in the red zone, having to settle for field goals on two occasions.

– Stupid Penalties!! Antrelle Rolle was his usual self, getting called for pass interference on a 3rd down play which brought the Raiders to the 1 yard line. Darnell Dockett kept the same Raider drive alive due to a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. An offsides on a 3rd & 6 which negated a Cardinals sack of Raiders QB Josh McCown. All of these penalties killed the defensive momentum and need to be cut out during the rest of the preseason. Rolle in particular needs to cut down on his penalties, which cost the team greatly last year.

– Injuries!! Well, the Cards couldn’t stay injury free forever. OLB Chike Okeafor and OT Oliver Ross suffered serious injuries during Saturday’s contest which could possibly sideline them for the 07 campaign. Okeafor suffered a torn bicep muscle, while Ross suffered a torn tricep muscle. Looks like rookie Levi Brown will have to step up now to fill in for Ross and start earning that big time payday. The depth at OLB is a big concern though as Okeafor was having an excellent camp. His possible backups are Calvin Pace and Darryl Blackstock, neither of which have impressed the coaches thus far.

OVERALL: B- effort

They need to tighten up the offense, and get that secondary locked in. James needs to play more than three snaps and get used to working behind his line during an actual game.

Next up: the Cards preseason home opener against the Houston Texans this Saturday. The most important thing now is that the Cards don’t take any steps backwards. Constantly improving, constantly working harder and striving to be better, that needs to be the tempo set by the team this preseason. Lets see what happens Saturday.

Mike Duggan