The Arizona Cardinals didn't get the win on Saturday night in their preseason opener, but they did see a bit of what they wanted, especially from the first team offense and the first and second team defense.
So what did we learn in the loss?
The starting offense looked great
Arizona had the ball to start the game and promptly marched down the field. They moved quickly and spread the ball around. Carson Palmer threw four passes, completing them all, and found three different receivers -- John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Andre Ellington twice. Seven plays, 80 yards and 3:28. That's all it took to move down the field.
Ellington looked dynamic, but got caught
Remember what a healthy Andre Ellington looked like? Now you can. The 57-yard pass play to Ellington was a thing of beauty. Palmer threaded the needle and Ellington did the rest. He did get caught from behind, something for which he took a lot a grief afterward, but that was a result of not being in shape. Bruce Arians mentioned it, Carson Palmer mentioned it and Ellington said it.
The Cardinals finished healthy
The last four years the team has lost a starter for the season either in the preseason or in practice at training camp. There were no major injuries on Saturday. Rookie D.J. Humphries dislocated a finger, but returned. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro injured his back. Safety Brandon Person hurt his knee. Arians did not believe any was serious.
The first and second team defenses were good
The starters forced a turnover in their only drive. The second unit forced a punt and limited the Chiefs to a long field goal. The second team did that against the Kansas City first team offense. That's what you want to see.
Logan Thomas looked like a guy who knew what he was doing
Thomas was 9/15 for 107 yards and an interception. That doesn't great. But he was let down by Jaron Brown, who let the ball get deflected into the air after it hit him in the chest, leading to the interception, and Brittan Golden, who couldn't bobbled a very catchable throw, nullifying a touchdown.
More importantly, Thomas looked comfortable in the pocket, knew where he was supposed to go with the ball and put the ball in the right area. Additionally, he showed escapability and athleticism on a 15-yard scramble that got the offense near the goalline.
Phillip Sims also showed promise
Sims' line looked bad, as he completed only three of 12 passes. He was elusive and made some good throws. His receivers just didn't catch them. He did get the touchdown pass.
The Honey Badger gets the ball
It seems Tyrann Mathieu has had an interception every day in practice. He picked one off in the game, too. See the play here. It was easy. "The quarterback just threw it right to me, so I didn't want to drop it," he said. "That was pretty much how that play went." Calais Campbell said Mathieu "is like a magnet to the football. I don't know how he does it."
The backups tackle poorly
Like the end of last season, there were so many poor tackling attempts. This time, though, it was the third stringers.