What was one of the biggest reasons for failure in 2016 again reared its ugly head again on Saturday night. The Cardinals special teams continues to take the word special out of it and throw it to the side.
The kickoff team allowed Beard kick returned Benny Cunningham to take the opening kickoff out of the end zone all the way out to the Bears 41-yardline. Immediately the defense was on its heels.
Then as the first half was ending, coach Bruce Arians allowed kicker Phil Dawson attempt a 63-yard field goal. It is preseason, so a good time to work on these things.
However what wasn’t good was that after he missed wide right, no one was around to account for Deonte Thompson’s 109-yard missed field goal return for touchdown as time expired. Everyone else knew to watch out for him. The broadcasters even mentioned him back there before the kick.
I imagine we won’t be seeing Dawson attempt from that distance again anytime soon. It would appear the Cardinals will need to keep it at 60-yards or less for him.
One other mistake made was by safety Tyvon Branch. On a punt, he didn’t allow Bears punt returner Eddie Jackson the opportunity to field the ball and was called for interference. The ball ended up hitting Jackson’s leg and being recovered by long-snapper Aaron Brewer. No matter though as it didn’t count.