Preseason game two of the 2013 season is in the books, and the Arizona Cardinals put another check in the W column, knocking off the visiting Dallas Cowboys 12 - 7. But even in victory there resides negatives, and here are the five I pulled from the game.
Red zone offense: The Cards won this game on the back of 12 points total, all of which were provided by Jay Feely's leg. I counted five trips to the red zone, two each for the first and second teams and one for the third team. Each time there, the Card's offense was shut down.
Field goals are a shaky way to win football games.
Special team punt returns: Last week I was wowed by the move Tyrann Mathieu put on a Green Bay defender to turn a nothing play into positive yardage. This week he and fellow rookie Charles Hawkins make the five negatives list for their punt return performance.
The HB had a contribution of a negative three yards, while Hawkins mistimed the ball in the air against the gunners speed and took a nasty shot. He hung onto the ball, but the mental breakdown was already committed.
Lack of first unit pass rush: The defense as a whole appears to have not suffered from the transition between Horton to Bowles. That being said, the flaw with the defense last and this years appears to be a lack of an elite pass rusher. Not having a guy with the ability to get pressure without scheming will hurt the Cards.
Carson Palmer: He looked great last week, walk on water type QB. This week he appeared average completing half of his attempts for no scores and 66 yards. I know it's still preseason but I prefer my starting QB to look sharp.
Levi Brown: Two penalties in two games, limited playing time. The types of penalties that shout, "I still have problems with speed." Call me biased, but I think the Levi Brown of 2013 is much more akin to the Levi "El Matador" Brown that Card's fans have been terrorized by since his drafting.
Next week the San Diego Chargers bring Ken Whisenhunt back to the valley when they visit, let's see what type of changes Coach Arians instills for the next game.