Arizona Cardinals: Drop preseason opener 34-19


The Arizona Cardinals dropped their preseason opener to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday evening

The first quarter was fun to watch on Saturday evening as quarterback Carson Palmer returned from his season-ending ACL injury in November and lead the Arizona Cardinals out to a quick 7-0 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs.  They added a field goal after an interception and it was suddenly 10-0.

However it was mostly downhill for the Cardinals from there as the Chiefs backups played exceptionally better as a unit than the Cardinals backups did.  Backup quarterback Chase Daniel was a star for the Chiefs throwing three touchdowns.

Palmer went 4-4 for 77 yards, including a 57-yard pass to running back Andre Ellington.  Ellington, also returning from a November season-ending injury, also looked really good.  He scored the touchdown that put the Cardinals up 7-0.  It was certainly nice to see they were in sync.

The backups showed some flashes of good but clearly there is work to do from many of them.  Sure, some of them will not be around after cut down time at the end of the preseason but there was a higher expectation of some.

The good:

Players that stood out positively other than Palmer and Ellington included cornerback Justin Bethel, safety Tyrann Mathieu, running back Kerwynn Williams, linebacker Alani Fua, defensive end Rodney Gunter, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, linebacker Kareem Martin, and tight end Ifeanyi Momah.

Bethel was very active and had very good coverage early on.  Momah had a couple of slip ups but played well in the fourth quarter.  Fua showed good pursuit, Alexander had a great special teams tackle on a punt, and Gunter had a sack for a safety.

The guys that need work:

Inside linebacker Andrae Kirk.  He had a nice tackle in the second quarter but he missed a sure tackle that would have stopped a Chiefs scoring drive.  He wasn’t the only one to miss a tackle.  Bethel told ABC 15 reporters after the game that coach Burce Arians mentioned the missed tackles in the postgame speech.  There were too many of them.

Backup offensive line.  They were brutal.  Quarterback Phillip Sims seemed to be running for his life most of the fourth quarter.

Jury is out:

Quarterback Logan Thomas.  He looked great on a couple of throws.  He showed the ability to step up in the pocket and showed good footwork at times.  However he looked a little wild at times and has to keep working on his reads.  You could see coach Arians talking to him a couple of times as he came off the field.

Center Lyle Sendlein.  I will cut him a little slack having not returned until this week.  He had a great block on a run in the second quarter but then was called for a holding soon thereafter.

Sims looked alright at quarterback.  He only went 3-12 but he showed his scrambling ability.  A couple of his throws looked wobbly, so it is difficult to ascertain who has the leg up on the third quarterback spot on the depth chart.  Thomas played the second and third quarters and into the fourth to finish a drive and Sims played the rest of the fourth quarter on Saturday night.

What’s up next: The Cardinals will face the San Diego Chargers next Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.  They return to practice on Monday after getting the day off on Sunday.

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