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Evaluating The Preseason Schedule: Week Two - Cardinals vs Titans

Last week we evaluated the first game of the preseason against the Houston Texans, here. This week, the Cardinals will be in a primetime rematch with the Tennesee Titans on Monday Night football, and for those of you who missed last week's evaluation, we're assuming that the Cardinals selected all four teams for the preseason.

Although the preseason is considered boring to some, it's highly appreciated after a seven-month layoff from NFL football. It's also a pivotal time for rookies and players just trying to make the cut.

Week 2: Tennessee Titans - Monday, August 23rd

Last Game: November 29th, 2009 - Cardinals lost 17-20

  • Kurt Warner was a question mark all week heading into the game after suffering a concussion against the Rams the week before. On gameday, Matt Leinartwas announced as the starter at quarterback. The Cardinals offense took a noticeable dip with Leinart at the helms. After an event-less first half, the Cardinals trailed 3-6 at halftime.
  • The game saw it's first score off of an 85-yard scamper by Chris Johnson in the third quarter. The Cardinals responded immediately when LaRod Stethens-Howling returned the following kick off 99-yards for the touchdown. Leinart finally led the Cardinals on their only scoring drive, with Tim Hightower punching in a 6-yard run. The Titans rallied late in the game, led by Vince Young's passing attack. The Cardinals defense didn't have an answer as Young threw a 10-yard game-winning touchdown as time expired. Why the Titans were selected and what to watch for are after the jump...

Why the Titans were selected and benefits to playing them in the preseason:

  • The Titans were obviously selected for what took place last year. Losing the way they did left a rotting memory in the heads of the Cardinals and their fans. I'm sure the defense would love nothing more then to quiet Young and the offense.
  • Chris Johnson is a true test for any defense. He ran over the Cardinals defense last year for 154-yards, so testing them at least in a quarter of action will tell us something. LenDale White is the 2nd string back, so even the 2nd string defense will face a quality running back.
  • The game will be in primetime in a hostile Tennessee environment. If that doesn't get the rookies ready for the regular season, what will?

What to watch for:

  • The Cardinals were only 5-12 on third downs last year against the Titans and only made one redzone appearance. Watch for the offense to open up early and establish a successful opening drive. It will be pivotal for Matt to march down the field in the only place he started last year.
  • The Titans were one of the better run defenses in the league last season and in their match up, the Cardinals only ran for 75-yards. Watch for a more aggressive rushing attack throughout the entire game. All four backs should see plenty of action.

 Although the preseason loses it's mojo after the first two quarters, it'll pleasent treat to watch come Monday night on August 23rd. What are your thoughts on the rematch with the Titans?