3 important takeaways from Arizona Cardinals Preseason Week 2 loss

The Arizona Cardinals lost by four touchdowns last night, and it really exposed some of this team’s primary weaknesses.
Aug 19, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) throws a pass
Aug 19, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) throws a pass / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Cardinals may have played an overall awful “dress rehearsal” game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, but you can primarily blame Colt McCoy for his overall inefficacy in moving the ball and anyone who isn’t on the First Team defense in some capacity, sans Isaiah Simmons. 

Overall, the Cards starting defense played an excellent game, and on offense, the presumed RB1 and RB2 both looked outstanding. But, I will caution, the Cardinals cannot deal with the injury bug this season unless they plan on finishing exactly where their critics think they will. 

3 takeaways in Arizona Cardinals loss to Chiefs

1 - Starting defense is golden

So much for the poor defensive line, the poor pass rush, the ticky-tacky coverage units, and the uncertainty at inside linebacker. I don’t know what general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon saw in what I can only categorize as “cast-offs” they brought in and retained for the most part, but in the short-run, it looks as though they’re outsmarting the rest of the NFL.

In my winners/losers article from last night, I specifically highlighted the Cardinals starting defense. And they deserve another round of recognition because, if you can contain Patrick Mahomes, then there isn’t a single quarterback in this league you can’t contain. 

2 - Offense is hopeless without Kyler…for now…

Let’s be honest - James Conner and Keaontay Ingram are the only two hopes for the Arizona Cardinals offense until quarterback Kyler Murray returns. I know many fans in the Red Sea have had it with Murray, but Colt McCoy has proven himself incapable of moving this team downfield, and Clayton Tune is not a Day One starter, though he’d at least make things entertaining. 

At this point, if the Cards want to move the ball efficiently, then they need to develop a throwback style of play that Ron Wolfley would rave about. Once Murray returns, then you will see the passing game open up, but until then, expect a pedestrian effort.

3 - Cards MUST avoid injuries at all costs

Injuries occur every year, but the Arizona Cardinals cannot let the injury bug hit them so hard this season. We already talked about how good the starting defense looked in last night’s loss to the Chiefs, but the Second and Third Team defense played as though they never learned how to tackle opposing ball carriers.

In short, if the Cardinals sustain more than a few injuries on defense, then it’s highly likely they will perform as their critics have advertised this year. But if they can keep their starters and primary role players intact, they will hang with most opponents.