In the vaunted third preseason game, the game that is supposed to mean the most but really doesn’t mean that much, the Cardinals starting offense started bumpy but finished on a high note. The defense struggled on the day, with the pass rush not generating the rush we all want to see and in turn the depleted secondary looking very depleted.
What we learned
Carson Palmer sucks in the preseason: Maybe it’s because the game isn’t "real," maybe it’s by Arians design, maybe it’s divine intervention, whatever the cause Palmer does not play well in preseason. Last year Palmer completed just 45% of his passes for a TD and two INT’s. So the sky isn’t falling that he didn’t dominate, heck we should be celebrating that he had even a decent preseason game! To the pub ya’all!
The starting offense did well: Even though Houston was missing All-World, scratch that, All-Universe DE J.J. Watt, the Houston defense still boasts strong position players across their front seven. Despite an early tipped pass turnover to start the game, the Cardinals offense began to click and looked just like they did last year. A mix of big pass plays and a few runs and the Cardinals were in the endzone.
David Johnson is the Truth: A big run followed up by a nice little stutter cut delay and the second year player scored the Cardinals first TD of the game.
Cornerback depth just got even thinner: With the loss of Mike Jenkins the competition for the second CB spot just got easier and that’s not a good thing. I’m starting to think we see more safeties kept than CBs this year as the CB position isn’t looking good outside of Patrick Peterson. Side note: Best wishes to Jenkins, I hope he recovers quickly.
The pass rush still looks bad: Sure it was mostly four man rushes and a few five man stunts, despite that the defensive line failed to generate much pressure. Chandler Jones was able to get a crucial sack on a third and short in the Cardinals red zone and Minter went unchallenged up the middle but the rest of the team didn’t create much for themselves. Once the subs came in it got ugly.
Overall it was an ugly game for the backups. Sure the score is upsetting but it is just preseason. Guys like Zamort (sorry Zamort friends and family) aren't going to make the roster. End of the roster guys getting beat by first teamers like Jaelon Strong doesn't worry me. Remember last year? We all thought the Cardinals looked like #$%@ during the preseason and they did okay during the regular season. Just won 13 games. This is the Bruce Arians and Steve Keim Cardinals, they've earned my trust.