Nobody has written one of these yet, so I'll handle it.
First off, the Cardinals offense and defense played very well in a 14-9 win against the Bears, but now the Qb Competition might be a little bit tougher for Coach Whiz after Anderson and Leinart played well last night. I just finished rewatching the game on Fox Sports AZ so lets get through this thing while everything is fresh in my head.
Quarterbacks: There was a ton of controversy over the last couple of days because Whisenhunt decided to let Derek Anderson start last night while Leinart would come in during the two minute drill. Everyone in the Media was saying that Leinart was done because of it, but he stepped up along with Anderson and they both had a good game.
Anderson showed some of what is frustrating about him, with a throw on 3rd and 3 during his first drive where he rifled a pass into triple coverage that hit the hands of a Bears linebacker, then it bounced into the air and was almost picked off again by a defensive lineman. He also put too much of his arm into short passes towards Beanie and Hightower that were dropped, and he overthrew Early Doucet. But he showed a good connection with Rookie Stephen Williams and lead the Cardinals to their first Touchdown. Following that, Leinart came in and lead the team to the Bears 7 yard line before a fumble after a screen pass to Beanie Wells was fumbled (even though it looked like Beanie was down, the play wasn't overturned). Then in the second half he lead the Cardinals down the field for their second Touchdown on a 13 yard pass to Steve Breaston where he made a great play diving into the Endzone.
Overall, Anderson was 7 of 12 for 94 yards and a TD. Leinart was 9 of 10 for 84 yards and a TD.
There was pressure on Cutler all night long, he was sacked 4 times during the game (although the Bears offensive line has struggled in the Preseason, he was also sacked 5 times last week against the Raiders). Cutler also threw two Picks in the first half, one on the opening drive to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and one to Greg Toler moments before Leinart went into the game. Greg Toler is also looking like he will be solid alongside DRC. The Bears receivers were well covered by Toler and DRC for most of the time they were in there, and the Bears running backs did not find many holes to run through. The Bears also didn't score until the 4th Quarter.
A sack where he also forced a fumble, and he also blocked the 3rd Field Goal of his career. Campbell has been playing at a Pro Bowl level since he became the starter last year. His only mistake was on a whiffed tackle that resulted in a 34 yard gain for Bears running back Chester Taylor.
Great night for him, and he showed why Whiz still has him as the starter. He had 62 yards on 8 carries for the night, including a 29 yarder on Leinart's TD drive. Great game all around from Hightower.
5 catches, 79 yards, Touchdown. Is this guy a steal or what? I can't believe he wasn't drafted. He could be a starter on quite a few teams in the NFL.
18 carries, 14 yards, and a fumble inside the Bears 10 yard line. Beanie needs to step it up, he hasn't played as well as he should be in the Preseason so far.
While Max Hall came in during the 4th Quarter and looked sharp, Skelton came in after Leinart's TD drive and looked shaky. Nothing like the guy who burned Houston in week 1. He was sacked, and he almost threw a pick, but luckily it wasn't and the receiver caught it.
Still no answer on the QB Competition:
I've made it clear that I am a Leinart supporter. I think Anderson is too inconsistent to be the starter, he is the kind of guy who can make you cheer on one play, and then pull your hair out on the next. I also want to see Leinart get a chance to prove that he can have a good season and prove that he can be the guy for this team. But with both guys playing well instead of one looking good and one struggling it just makes it tougher on Coach Whiz unless he has already made up his mind like some people believe. Hopefully we get an answer on Thursday after the game against the Redskins.
Overall, much improved over last Monday's debacle against Tennessee, I feel a lot more optimistic about the team as a whole after last night. Now it is on to the game against the Skins where we will get to see the Black Unis, and then hopefully on to a 3rd consecutive NFC West title.