Maybe the most important game that doesn't count, if there is such a thing, and it happens on the road, in Oakland on Sunday night football for the Arizona Cardinals. After a week that included more talk about the offensive line and an article that made most Cardinals fans lose their minds, now we can actually discuss something that is happening on the field.
Here is what I'll be watching in the final tuneup game for the starters in the preseason.
Keep being dominant on defense
Something Jess and I have talked about on the podcast is the fact that the Arizona Cardinals have faced some less than stellar offenses to start the season. And what they have done is great and that needs to continue in week three of the preseason where they will face an up and coming Raiders offense, and put some pressure on the Cardinals secondary with Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. Let's see the Cardinals secondary live up to the billing of being the next Legion of Boom.
Oh, and can someone get after the quarterback?
The David Johnson Show, Part 2
David Johnson played really well in his first chance on the field and the sequel has a chance to be confirmation, as much as preseason can be, of his ability to be the workhorse back the Arizona Cardinals need.
The Raiders defensive front has some good weapons and should present a nice challenge for the Arizona running game, but David Johnson is the only running back that matters right now.
The ILB conundrum continues
While Kevin Minter has looked good during the preseason, the other inside linebacker position needs some more work. Alani Fua has looked like a player at times, and offers some interesting versatility in the running game and passing game. Gabe Martin is close to Minter in style, he needs to show more if he wants to make the team. Meanwhile, the also rans --well, they don't inspire too much confidence. Where's Weatherspoon?
Did I mention the pass rush?
The Arizona Cardinals need to get after the quarterback to be the defense they can possibly be, and that means someone being able to turn the dreaded pressures into production. While it is only the preseason so far, the pass rush has been...something.
Khalil Mack, Da gawd
Mack was amazing as a rookie, except at getting after the quarterback. Now, in the preseason, that has not changed too much, but he has put some offensive tackles on skates in the first two games, and he has DOMINATED in the running game (he really should have been a Cardinal). Veldheer will get his best work of the preseason here, getting him ready for Cameron Jordan and Hau'oli Kikaha in week one of the season.
Who cares about a win? Let's see the Arizona Cardinals continue to take steps and stay healthy.