It was an inauspicious start to the game for the Arizona Cardinals.
The New Orleans Saints took the opening kickoff, and at will were running the ball down the throat of the Cardinals defense.
Corey Peters limped off the field in fear of an injury, before later returning, and then Robert Nkemdiche was lost for the game due to a foot issue.
Yet, the first team defense made two plays that mattered, first Rodney Gunter, replacing Corey Peters on the first drive, pushed the pocket and forced Taysom Hill to throw an errant pass that Scooby Wright III tipped and Haason Reddick intercepted.
Then, on the next possession, after a terrible first series from the Cardinals, despite the Saints continuing to run at will, Hill fumbled a play action handoff, Vontarrius Dora recovered, and the Arizona Cardinals wouldn’t look back in 20-15 win.
Sam Bradford was 6-6 for 61 yards. David Johnson scored a touchdown on an extra effort after Bradford, finally unleashed by Mike McCoy, went 4-4 for 40 yards on the drive to get the Cardinals into scoring position.
From there, it was two David Johnson runs that scored the first points of the game.
On the ensuing Saints possession, Hill was picked off by Bene Benwikere, that brought on Josh Rosen and what was undoubtedly the drive of the preseason.
Rosen and the first team offense, minus David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, went on a seven play, 87 yard drive to score the second touchdown of the game.
Rosen and J.J. Nelson put the Cardinals in position with a pass interference penalty on a beautiful deep passing play, that set the Cardinals up with first and goal at the seven.
After a three yard gain on first down from Chase Edmonds, the Cardinals would commit penalties on two of the next three plays, setting up a third and goal from the Saints 13.
It was the pass of the future though, as Rosen found fellow rookie Christian Kirk on a 13 yard seam route for a touchdown, extending the Cardinals lead to 14-0 and setting off pandemonium from Cardinals fans.
Josh Rosen to Christian Kirk for the touchdown. Excellent placement and velocity. pic.twitter.com/ScEAvko2A0— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 18, 2018
Rosen lead another scoring drive, this time an 11 play 47 yard drive setting up a 41 yard Phil Dawson field goal.
That extended the Cardinals lead to 17-3.
Dawson would also miss a field goal right before half, which is going to be interesting to watch, because rookie Matt McCrane nailed his only attempt, a 53-yard field goal that would put the Cardinals up 20-3.
From there, it was the Chad Kanoff and Sherman Badie show on offense, with an impressive showing from several third and fourth string defenders fighting for roster spots.
However, the highlight of the game, and likely the preseason was simply the Rosen to Kirk touchdown that showed the future could be extremely bright for those two.
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