17 - 0. I understand it's the first game of preseason, but a W in the W - L column makes the five positives articles much easier. That's what the Arizona Cardinals did yesterday while back east visiting the Green Bay Packers, and here's how the did it.
It started with an improved pass structure, from the play calling to pass blocking to quarterback play culminating at the reception level. With only a bit of speculation the score could easily have been 24 - 0, had Andre Roberts not tried to catch one with his face. He had a step on his man.
Aggressive pass calls, deep strikes. Interception by Patrick Peterson and what do the Cards do? Coach Arians (btw, I like this HC better just because his name is shorter to type) dials up a quick deep strike for a score, Carson Palmer connects with Andre Roberts who redeemed himself by finding the end zone.
To top it off, there was one sack given up, and it was when our second string was on the field. A good day's work.
For my next positive, I'm going to hop from the overall offensive structure to talk about the receivers, specifically the two rookie WR's vying to make the team.
Drew Stanton looked solid tossing the pigskin around yesterday as Palmer's backup, and he found UDFA Jaron Brown for a one yard score on a back shoulder fade. In addition to the score, Brown hauled in 5 catches for 46 yards.
Charles Hawkins, Brown's UDFA counterpart also had a productive day. The rookie pulled down 4 balls and racked up 92 yards, averaging out to 23 yards a catch. He and Roberts are looking to be solid deep threats.
Ok, I know the guys that love defense are chomping at the bit for some love that way. Well, here's my first dose. How does 160 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground sound? Now add in an interception to set up a score, a strip sack, a fumble recovery and a solid red zone stand. That's a good day in my book.
Overall there were 3 times the Cards sacked the Packer's QB. The strip sack was by newly signed John Abraham, coming off the left edge. Sam Acho is always in position to make plays and he made another by pulling in the loose ball.
The interception was by none other than the up and coming Patrick Peterson who jumped on a pass thrown by Graham Harrell, and as stated earlier, led to an Arizona score.
My next dose of defense love comes for a player specifically. How about Honey Badger, man on a mission? Tyrann Mathieu had 4 tackles, 1 sack and a TFL in yesterday's game.
On top of that, he flashed on special teams defensively and offensively registering 1 tackle and returning a punt for 24 yards and making a few nice cuts while doing so.
Last but not least. It was an east coast win against the Packers.
That's all I have folks, tune in next week when your Arizona Cardinals take on the Dallas Cowboys.