Arizona Cardinals blow out the Cincinnati Bengals, but special teams struggle

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Cardinals offense came in with a vengeance.

32. 23. 56. Final. 36

If there was ever a way to send a message to your fanbase, the Arizona Cardinals found one of the best ways to do that. An offensive outburst in the first half was all that it took. Touchdown drives from Trace McSorley coupled with a Matt Prater field goal kept the momentum going.

It was great to Trace McSorley look crisp with the offense, including a big pass to Greg Dortch, “The Torch.” McSorley should make this team as the team’s third-string quarterback, and there’s no debate. I’ve seen all I need to see in just one game out of the former Penn State passer.

Jonathan Ward continued the “James Conner ” theme of scoring touchdowns of less than five yards. It goes to show that the Arizona Cardinals’ backups on the offensive line can move some people.

The Arizona Cardinals dominated the Cincinnati Bengals, but not without their own struggles.

It’s very concerning to see Matt Prater miss two extra points. Yes, it’s a preseason game, and there’s no reason to overreact, but these problems are somewhat comparable to a stress fracture that some people can get.

They don’t seem like a big issue until that fracture breaks open, and that would be the equivalent of Prater missing a clutch extra point. The rest of the special teams was pretty bad until Dortch’s 55-yard punt return, which set up Jarrett Gaurantano’s touchdown in the Tweet above.

The run defense got lucky that both of Chris Evans’ biggest plays were negated by holding penalties. But in the grand scheme of things, they did shut down the Bengals offense enough as they could hardly move the ball after second-string quarterback Brandon Allen exited with a concussion.

The Packers struggled all last season to fix their special teams, and their collapse in the divisional round cost them another shot at a Lombardi. Let’s hope Arizona fixes their special teams unit real soon.

But how great it is to enjoy a win, even in the preseason, and be on the right side of the blowout.

Next. Here were our thoughts at halftime for Cards-Bengals. dark