The 2013 pre-season is a thing of history for the Arizona Cardinals, and they wrapped up game four with a victory while visiting Mile High Stadium and the hosting Denver Broncos.
Without further ado, here are five things the Cards did well in their 32 - 24 victory.
1: QB rating of 104.7, 17/29 for 214 yards, 0 INT and 2 TD: Carson Palmer? Nope. Well how about that backup guy Drew Stanton, it must have been him, right? Wrong again.
Try Ryan Lindley on for size. Sure, I know, pre-season games. But Lindley showed great arm strength, made some good reads and tossed 2 TD's. That's a surefire way to make a coach sit up and take notice.
2: The run game was by committee and between Stepfan Taylor, Andre Ellington and Ryan Williams managed to post over 100 yards rushing.
Both Williams and Taylor found the end zone on the day. The rookie, Taylor ran with power and managed a nice 15 yard run complete with broken tackles to find pay-dirt. Williams, stepping onto the field for the first time since injury made some nice moves and showed the elusive speed. He also lowered his shoulder and took a few pops, something I'm sure Coach Arians wanted to see.
3: Play action and the deep ball. Lindley tossed the ball down the field a few times on play action calls which a solid run game helped establish. He missed connecting with Kerry Taylor on one but found TD magic in a connecting bomb that rookie Jaron Brown ran under en route to the promised land. A thing of beauty to behold.
4: QB pressures and sacks. Again, I know this is pre-season, but the Cards defense harried the Broncos QB personnel. Tony Jefferson, Kenny Demens and Colin Parker managed to notch QB hits, and Jefferson had the lone sack for the Cards.
5: Making the cut to 53 a tough decision. Ryan Lindley was playing for a job today. So was Ryan Williams. Don't forget Jaron Brown and Tony Jefferson. Each had a great performance.
Jefferson with QB pressures, tackles for loss and a sack. Send him down to the practice squad and he won't last.
Brown had that beautiful 55 yard catch for a score. With good size and toughness he's another rookie that wouldn't clear the practice squad waivers.
Lindley and Williams are the veterans, and they too showed their value in the game. Lindley with his great box score stats shows why developing him wouldn't be futile. Williams flashed and wowed, stating his case for making the 53.
Coach Arians has stated the best 53 make the team. This is the deepest cut I've had to see the Cards make in years. I don't envy his choices.