Arizona Cardinals’ starters looking for answers
After both the offensive and defensive lines struggled against the Chicago Bears, the Arizona Cardinals are searching for answers after 3 preseason games.
With some extended playing time in their 3rd preseason game, the starters on both sides looked sluggish at times.
A one-point loss, and a near win, doesn’t paint a very good picture of the loss on Saturday night against the Bears. Blaine Gabbert missed on what would’ve been the go-ahead points in the final seconds after an incomplete pass on a 2-point conversion. But preceding that, the first-team units seemed out of wack to start the first half.
The starting offensive line seemed constantly over-matched by the Bears’ ground game. Tarik Cohen moved with ease, collecting 77-yards on just 11 carries for a 7-yard average. “You don’t want to see any 10-, 15-yard runs,” Arians said, “especially against our number ones.”
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With rookie Haason Reddick and second-year man Scooby Wright playing inside along with the starters, the absence of both Karlos Dansby and Deone Bucannon was ever-clear.
“We let (the starters) play a little longer than I wanted to,” Arians said, “just because they weren’t tackling well enough. Those inside ‘backers struggled setting the front a few times and miscommunication with the two guys that were in there. But still, no excuse for not tackling.”
Cardinal fans are used to their defense being a force in the run game during the Bruce Arians era. If this team wants to follow-up on a top-2-defensive performance in 2016, they’ll need to bottle up opposing running backs.
Badger doing Badger things
There are few things prettier to witness than Tyrann Mathieu jumping a route and effortlessly intercepting a pass. On Saturday, he did just that and returned the pick for 52-yards. And just like that, we can collectively say, the Badger is back.
“He’s been doing it in practice since camp started,” Markus Golden said, “he’s just back to being himself.”
Certainly very reminiscent of the Mathieu we seen in 2015, on his way towards a Defensive Player of the Year bid before his season-ending injury.
In a game full of question marks, Tyrann Mathieu seemed to have all the answers. How will the rest of his defense look in the “dress rehearsal” game this week against the Falcons?
With the regular season less than 3 weeks away, let’s hope we’re not still asking that question as exhibition games conclude and the games that matter begin.