Well that's it folks, the preseason is finally over. Starting September 11th, every game the Cardinals play will officially count towards their record. While Arizona looked very good last night after defeating the Denver Broncos 26-7, there are still a few things that the Cardinals could work on.
Most of the players that were in the game were either second or third string players, so all of what they do should be taken with a grain of salt. The preseason has a way to make people overreact to individual performances, good or bad, so keeping it all in perspective is important.
Without further ado, let's take a quick look at five things that the Arizona Cardinals need to work on before the Carolina Panthers come to town and five negatives coming out of the game.
Calling Fair Catches: Twice during last night's game there was the potential for muffed punts to occur. Both Marshay Green and Andre Roberts took huge risks by not calling for a fair catch while fielding punts in the first quarter. This could have led to a catastrophe in the form of a turnover, but luckily it looks like the coaches were able to prevent that by instructing their players how to correctly field the ball. Most of this was seen because players are trying as hard as they can to make plays in the fourth preseason game, so overcompensation becomes prevalent.
Missed Opportunities: Honestly, the quarterback play for Denver was absolutely dreadful. There were many times that I thought if Kyle Orton goes down this season, their team is in deep trouble. That said, our defense probably could have capitalized on a few more of their mistakes. For example, Fred Bennett had a ball hit him in the hands that could and should have been intercepted, but it was dropped and remained an incomplete pass. When the regular season rolls around, these are plays that our guys will have to make.
Alfonso's Absence: Fans around Revenge of the Birds were excited to see what Alfonso Smith would be able to bring to the table after missing the last game against the Chargers. He was presumably in the running to land the third string running back job, but unfortunately, he has a lingering hamstring injury and was not able to play. William Powell, the undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, was able to absorb all of the extra carries, but did not make a lasting impression in doing so.
The Injury Report: The Arizona Cardinals were unable to get out of another preseason game without some injured players. This time, both Sean Jeffcoat and second-year tight end Jim Dray were forced to leave the game early. Jeffcoat sustained some sort of a shoulder injury and Dray walked off with a pectoral strain. Jeffcoat was a long shot to make the roster anyhow, but with Dray now being injured, Stephen Spach might have a better chance at making the final 53.
The Turf: This one is a bit cheesy, but I noticed during the last two preseason games at University of Phoenix Stadium that the grass has been a bit unkind to the players. Beanie Wells has slipped multiple times, which has caused him to gain less yards than he potentially could have. Also, cornerbacks have been slipping as well, which leads to uncovered receivers and big plays from the opponent. The grounds crew better step up their game for September 11th.
What do you think Cardinals fans? Anything else coming out of this game or any of the other preseason games that you think the Cardinals still need to improve on? Let us know in the comments section.