If someone looked at the box score from Thursdays game against the Chargers, they would wonder how it is that the defense held them to only four field goals. The Chargers offense amassed 347 total yards, to the Cardinals mere 98. The alone speaks highly of the defense, allowing only 12 points. Here are five positives, as well as five negatives from the ugly loss.
Glenn Carson and the Defense: Glenn Carson was an absolute terror on Thursday. He recorded 10 tackles, eight of which were solo, and racked up three pass deflections as well. As a whole unit they only surrendered 12 points, all on field goals, and were stout against the run. Carson puts the Cardinals in a bind. Do they go with the veteran Desmond Bishop, who has proven himself in the league, or do they go with the undrafted rookie who has shown talent through out camp?
Logan Thomas: Despite his horrible stat line, he could have very well topped 150 yards had there not been several interceptions. Brittan Golden had two big catches dropped, and Dan Buckner popped the ball into the air, and the Chargers picked it off. He made the right reads on nearly every play, with a few instances where he telegraphed his throw, but those were not often.
Chandler Catanzaro: Catanzaro had his first game as the Cardinals official kicker. He kicked the ball off three times, and only two were returned, one for 25 yards, and the other was fumbled and recovered by Arizona. He remained perfect on his field goals, going 3/3 and recording all of the Cardinals points.
Walt Powell: He had an iffy day offensively. He struggled with a few blocks, made a wrong read on a run, and only caught one ball, but on special teams he returned five kicks for 140 yards, an average of 27 yards per return. Powell makes the negatives list as well, but more on that in a second.
Competition: There were several positions still up for grabs, and everyone knew it. Luckily the competitions for those positions showed the weak from the strong.This has not been common in past seasons, but under Arians it has come through in his first two years.
Walt Powell: Walt may have been excellent returning the ball on Thursday, but his ability to handle the ball is a negative. On every return he was hanging the ball away from his body, instead of high and tight. If he were to get decked on a return, that ball goes loose and the Cardinals have a turnover.
Offensive Line: The line may be third stringers and a few second stringers, but it was horrific on Thursday. Thomas was under pressure all game long, primarily from the edge, and the offensive line could not open any lanes on the ground. Neither Nate Potter or Bradley Sowell distinguished themselves as the teams backup swing tackle.
Injuries: Injuries hit a number of players who were putting plays on their resumes. Of the players injured, only Curtis Taylor had any real shot at making the roster, and even then it was slim.
Accuracy and Drops: Logan Thomas may have made the right reads on nearly all of his throws, he still struggled with his accuracy. He overthrew Walt Powell and Brittan Golden a few times, both had a step on their defenders. However as Thomas got his accuracy under control, Dan Buckner and Brittan Golden caught the drops and the offense continued to stall.
Nature of the business: Cuts are coming tomorrow and Saturday. Some talented players will go, but that's how the NFL is. Fans pick their favorites, and those favorites are sometimes cut. The players also made some strong connections with a few of the players that will be shown the door, but if they were talented enough to make plays, there is likely another team out there to get them, but it still hurts sometimes to see one of your favorite players play in another jersey.
Is there anything else you would add to the list? Perhaps Deone Bucannon and his eight solo tackles? Or the fact that Kevin Minter and Jonathan Cooper played through their injuries?