Arizona Cardinals: What Did We See in Preseason Week 1?


The preseason opener showed us some strengths and weaknesses, but there’s still four weeks to go!

Preseason Week 1 is in the books, the players had Sunday off and Monday was back to the field. With a few days removed from the game, which was always an interesting experience in fan-watching, here’s what we learned, from my humble perspective.

The First Team Offense Was Lights Out

The offense did great work for the single series they were in the game for, Carson Palmer looked great, going 4/4, Andre Ellington, with much talk about bringing in another, comparable back in Chris Johnson over the weekend, showed that he could be the focal point of the Cardinals offense. Blocking looked great, and the ball was spread around. This is what the Cardinals are, a healthy, dangerous team, and a team that could win 12 or 13 games and take the division and a bye into January.

The First Team Defense Was Just As Good

Tyrann Mathieu had a pick in which Alex Smith was basically playing catch with him, and the rest of the defense held up great spotting the second and third teamers a 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter. Granted, there was little to no gameplan going on, but this is a chance for guys to get noticed. Big additions from the offseason like Sean Witherspoon were injury-absent so we may not know this side of the ball yet fully.

Tackling Problems Resurface

…either the Kansas City players were poison manifested or everyone on the field knew they were cut regardless, but these guys need to learn how to tackle…

Ever seen the first Transporter movie where Jason Statham covers himself in grease and has an all out brawl with a bunch of henchmen and none of them can get a grip on him and it becomes a comedy of errors. That was the third and fourth quarters for the Arizona defense, either the

Kansas City

players were poison manifested or everyone on the field knew they were cut regardless, but these guys need to learn how to tackle, not just in the open field, something stand-out Justin Bethel did well, but just contain and capture. This can sink a team so hopefully Bruce Arians gets his guys to figure out how to grab someone and haul them to the ground.

Cornerback Conundrum

The starter opposite Patrick Peterson is listed as Jerraud Powers, and rightfully so, he’s a very good football players, but behind him is Justin Bethel, a special team’s Pro Bowler who is trying to make a splash not only for his speed and athletisim, the 25-year-old has been key in blocking field goals over the last four seasons, getting off the edge and getting to the kicker. Bethel had a great game as a cornerback in week 1, and granted, this was against non-starters, the skills are certainly there, its up to him (and Arians) to feature them on the field.

What’s Next?

Next Saturday the San Diego Chargers come into University of Phoenix Stadium as the entire AFC West is on the docket this preseason. The Cardinals will have a different look behind Carson Palmer with Chris Johnson expected to get his first action as a Cardinal after he takes the practice field today. All fans are hoping for is escaping the game (and the next two as well) injury free. Hopefully we’ll get to see the first team offense and defense a bit more and give fans, and the rest of the league, a taste of red.