The Cardinals have been more impressive this preseason than they had all last preseason. From offensive woes to poor special teams, the 2016 Cardinals looked out of synch. In 2017, the coaching staff set out to fix those problems.
They have had a more physical camp, and thus have looked far better in preseason than they did at any point last year. The team put up 75 points in all four games. They have already put up 85 in four games before they enter their fifth. These numbers mean nothing when the regular season comes around, but it’s definitely going to be looked at by the fans if the Cardinals succeed in 2017.
The starting Offense looked good. They started off sluggish, but Palmer was driving before some key mistakes by his offensive line and Chris Johnson. Palmer hooked up with Jaron Brown on an out route, and with John Brown for a touchdown. David Johnson saw two snaps, and rightfully so. We need him for the regular season, and playing him on a brand new turf was dangerous.
The Defense was stingy and looked like they were in midseason form. Markus Golden and Chandler Jones showed up, which is something the fans needed and wanted to see. Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel look like they will be a good corner duo. Antoine Bethea and Tyvon Branch could be a good safety duo as well. Bethea was actually running with Julio Jones on a Matt Ryan overthrow.
Special Teams didn’t give up any big plays, so that will always fall under “The Good” until they gain back the fans trust.
There were also few injuries. Olsen Pierre will enter the concussion protocol, but outside of that, there were only bumps and bruises.
The play calling was back to normal. You could see the difference between Arians and his young coaches on Saturday. We will see Goodwin call the fourth game before we return to Arians to start the season.
Haason Reddick continues to take his lumps. He is still learning a brand new position and it shows on game day. He had more positive plays in this game than we have seen in the previous three.
The running backs were very unimpressive. Johnson fumbled twice but rebounded by averaging 5.1 yards on six carries. Ellington had more carries than he had yards. (4 carries for 3 yards). Elijhaa Penny also had a fumble and does not appear to be the same guy so many were interested in heading into camp.
The starting offensive line had some holes. The injury to Iupati showed up on the left side of the offensive line.
The turnovers. The Cardinals coughed the ball up three times, to the Falcons two. That is something that cannot happen when we enter the regular season.
Is there something I missed? Let me know in the comments below!