Well there goes the Cardinals going undefeated in the preseason. Not that it mattered but it's fun to win and not watch the other team put up 31 points to your teams 10.
First team offense: Seth in his post-game recap basically highlighted the first-team offense in one play by David Johnson. The Cardinals are going to attack you on every level and if David Johnson continues his ascension, good luck NFL. While the Cardinals didn't score a touchdown, it was great to see them move the ball and get points on the board in their first NFL action in months.
First team defense: They only played two series (most of the first team D at least) but forcing the Raiders off the field on their first drive after just two minutes and 43 seconds was a good feeling. The lack of depth in the secondary showed on David Carr's completions to Michael Crabtree but with the injuries I'm not too worried that a up-and-coming QB was able to find some holes.
Troy Niklas: While it was against mostly second and third stringers, his 32 yard catch and run was a beaut. He made a nice move to avoid a would be tackler and showed some toughness at the end of his run by leveling his shoulders and hitting a defender instead of pulling up and going out of bounds. While that may seem small, in my mind it shows Niklas' mentality is to be physical and hopefully that's a good sign of things to come from the young TE.
Andre Ellington: IF, and we all know that's a big one, if healthy the return of "Juke" Ellington could make the Cardinals offense monstrous. He is explosive and showed grit on his TD lunge. He and David Johnson could create a lighting storm. Screw thunder and lighting, just straight up Arizona style monsoon lighting storm! Monsoon season for their nick name? Anyone? Okay then, I'll let myself out...
Backup run defense: Ouch. George Atkinson had a field day against the Cardinals backups hitting 97 yards on just five carries. He covered almost a fifth of the field every time he touched the ball. We can blame some of it on first game jitters but that doesn't excuse the poor display of run defense put on by the Card's backups. The first preseason game can lead us to jump to conclusions so I won't throw them under the bus just yet, however right now the vaunted depth we fans thought the Cardinals had may be an allusion.
J.J. Nelson: You can't fumble the ball on a punt and not make the "bad" list. In an area the Cardinals really need to see some life in, JJ didn't help himself or the Cardinals today. You have to wonder if the Cardinal elect to keep a 6th WR just because they need someone they can count on to return the ball that isn't Patrick Peterson or Tyrann Mathieu.
Backup O-line run game: Maybe it was Elijhaa Penny, maybe it was the o-line, or maybe I'm a Cardinals fan who always blames the o-line out of habit. We may never know. What we do know is that a good line helps make a running back look good and Penny struggled, averaging under 3 yards a touch. The center job is up for grabs, the right tackle job isn't a lock and the right guard position may see an injury. The Cardinals need depth on the o-line and right now the backups aren't inspiring much confidence.
Quaterbacks not named Carson Palmer: Ugh. Do I need to go into detail? I feel like this will be hashed out all week so I'll keep it super short. The only bright spot I saw was back-to-back completions from Matt Barkley to Jaxon Shipley so start the third quarter. The first throw to Shipley was a thing of beauty, placing the ball right over the corner and before the safety. If we can see more of that maybe I will stop feeling nauseous every time Palmer is hit this season.
And that's all folks. Probably some other ugly things I could write about, but after watching Drew Stanton look like John Skelton I feel the need to take a cold shower to repress bad memories.
Anything I miss, please let me know!