It’s just preseason.
But there were a lot of positives, and plenty of areas in need of improvement.
And naturally, with it being the first game-action for the highly anticipated rookie Quarterback the Cardinals traded up for in Josh Rosen, Twitter had plenty to say.
It started with a defensive stand by the Cardinals’ secondary. And then the Cardinals flipped the field with Christian Kirk nearly taking it to the house.
David Johnson then ran through some gaping holes picking up 14 yards on consecutive plays.
David Johnson runs for 14 yards on the Cardinals' first play from scrimmage.— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) August 12, 2018
He’s back, folks. And the offensive line was looking better than fans have expected in recent years:
It's preseason drive one, but I really like how this OL is looking as a unit.— Kent (@kent_hodder) August 12, 2018
My god, Mason Cole and Justin Pugh just destroyed the Chargers defensive line who is not at full strength...— Seth (@SCoxFB) August 12, 2018
Johnson was pulled, and it led to Chase Edmonds making an incredible second-effort to get the touchdown.
Cardinals coaches and general observers have raved about Chase Edmonds this summer. He's the direct, next-in-line backup to David Johnson, a talented three-down RB who's solid across the board. Another first-year RB in a deep class with impact appeal.— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 12, 2018
Play was reviewed but...without conclusive evidence to see if his knee was down, Edmonds got his first TD in the NFL preseason.
Touchdown stands. Chase Edmonds with a 2-yard score in his NFL debut. Cardinals lead 7-0, 8:02 left 1Q.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) August 12, 2018
Before the game, in front of the largest crowd to date he had ever played in front of, Edmonds sent out a tweet that went viral about his journey to the NFL.
I came out of high school with zero FBS offers. And tonight I will play in my first NFL game. Heavenly Father, you are amazing. Thankyou!— Chase Edmonds (@ChaseEdmonds22) August 11, 2018
Good on you, rook. Now, back to the game.
The Cardinals defense responded the next drive with getting pressure on Chargers QB Cardale Jones. By whom?
One Robert Nkemdiche, who has all the eyes on him in his critical 3rd season.
Nkemdiche being disruptive— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 12, 2018
Nkemdiche QB hit— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) August 12, 2018
Nkemdiche is just abusing the Chargers OL...— Seth (@SCoxFB) August 12, 2018
But that wasn’t what fans cared most about...
Can the Cardinals defense please get off the field so the Rosen era can begin— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) August 12, 2018
Finally after forcing a field goal, it was Rosen time:
You'll be saying this a lot over the next ten years https://t.co/rN1z9J4RVU— Donovan James (@DonJamesSports) August 12, 2018
Josh Rosen's first two plays as a Cardinal were to a pair of Scottsdale natives: a handoff to D.J. Foster and a completion to Christian Kirk.— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) August 12, 2018
He continued to be under heavy pressure for his first two drives but made some great throws when he had time.
Josh Rosen buys some time and throws a great pass over the middle to tight end Gabe Holmes. 21-yard gain.— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) August 12, 2018
Think Chargers have blitzed 3 of Rosen’s 4 passes. Annihilating Cards front— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) August 12, 2018
All in all, while Rosen’s debut wasn’t as impressive as others in the rookie class and he showed he’s still a work in progress, the talent and reason he went top 10 was on display when he had time to throw.
Nice job by Josh Rosen. Feels the quick pressure, resets, finds the open man pic.twitter.com/GZXgZ5yTkg— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 12, 2018
The first half wasn’t without controversy, however, as a catch and fumble recovery by the Cardinals was overturned by...the new helmet rule? A defenseless receiver?
Wait a second?— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) August 12, 2018
HOW WAS THAT NOT A CATCH AND FUMBLE?
... he had tucked the ball and become a runner, what on earth was that call— Riley Auman (@AumanacDraft) August 12, 2018
How the hell do you call that guy defenseless? He was a runner at that point...someone effed up.— NL West Champs Or Bust (64-54) (@KeithBalanis) August 12, 2018
Either way, it’s the new NFL. Time to get used to it.
Not sure what Christian Kirk was thinking on that punt. Let it bounce inside the 5-yard line.— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) August 12, 2018
Rosen and the 2nd team offensive line, struggled to get going in the first half:
Rosen’s 3/6 for 26. No help from the run game and protection has been leaky.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) August 12, 2018
There were flaws on the defense as well. Along with some criticism of Mike Glennon.
Rough first half for Williams; flagged for penalty on punt coverage, missed tackle on 3rd-and-7 that turned into 39-yard gain#LACvsAZ— Craig Grialou (@CraigAZSports) August 12, 2018
Never understood the Glennon thing.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 12, 2018
One look at his tape and you see a guy who would back up Brock Osweiler.
Meanwhile Rosen showed what he’s shown throughout all of training camp: that he’s not ready for the starting gig yet.
Bad read by Rosen there.— Seth (@SCoxFB) August 12, 2018
Rosen isn't getting a lot of time to throw but is also making some poor decisions.— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) August 12, 2018
Rosen: Capped. Steve Wilks also basically said the rookie didn't get much protection— Nick Shook (@TheNickShook) August 12, 2018
The next part of the game featured less of the offense and more of the defense, with Bene Benwikere and Jeremy Cash making plays:
The Cardinals' Panther connection team for defensive score. CB Bené Benwikere forces a fumble. LB Jeremy Cash picks up ball and runs it for the TD.— Jess Root (@senorjessroot) August 12, 2018
Here’s a highlight. And Benewikere wasn’t done, either. He went on to knock a ball in the air that was picked off by UDFA Safety A.J. Howard.
There’s a new #23 in town, Adrian Peterson.
The team couldn’t avoid injury, however, as linebacker Jeremy Cash was carted off after twisting his leg on a tackle.
You just hate to see that. Cash looks like he's in a lot of pain.— Bolts From The Blue (@BFTB_Chargers) August 12, 2018
But there was a lot of complaining about the officiating, as the new “personal foul” contact rule for leading with the helmet reared its ugly head with plays that fans didn’t see as leading with the helmet at all.
I think Travell Dixon just got flagged for tackling.— Vinny Joe _____ (@Vincemarotta) August 12, 2018
How can one one support this league anymore— Colorado Cardinals (@ColoradoCards) August 12, 2018
You gotta be kidding me. Another NFL rule that even the refs don't seem to understand.— Derek Montilla (@Cap_Kaveman) August 12, 2018
All in all, the first team Cardinals offense/defense and special teams executed almost flawlessly, and Josh Rosen showed flashes of brilliance and areas to improve.
But the star of game one was Cap Capi, who had two sacks and a forced fumble on the night and almost always seems to dominate in the preseason:
Death, taxes and Cap Capi getting sacks in the preseason.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) August 12, 2018
SACK SACKI BY CAP CAPI.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 12, 2018
*sorry, it's the third quarter of the first preseason game* pic.twitter.com/Uj9pXu5BWF
Cap Capi with the sack and FF. He’s an unstoppable force in August.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) August 12, 2018
Finally, Charles Kanoff made a late splash with a touch down and the most impressive play of the game on a deep throw to Jalen Tolliver that was simply beautiful, followed by this TD pass:
All in all, fans seemed to like how the starters looked, liked how Rosen took a beating, but didn’t like the penalties, 2nd team offensive line and helmet rulings looked.
The depth at offensive line looks questionable, and there will be a lot of players who have to prove that they belong on the 53 over the next few preseason games.
‘Til next week, Birdgang!