The Cardinals three pre-season games this year are:
Week 1: DAL @ AZ date/time: TBA
Week 2: KC @ AZ August 20th, 8 pm EDT ESPN
Week 3: AZ @ NO August 26th, time TBA
With only three pre-season games, the customary “dress rehearsal” game would be during Week 2, when the Chiefs and Cardinals have the primetime game on ESPN.
Fans might be very excited to get a sneak peek of a pre-season showdown between QB Patrick Mahomes and QB Kyler Murray, but, with this being the first year that the NFLis hosting a 17 game regular season, is it likely for NFL teams to play their starters at any point during the abbreviated pre-season?
If you were Kliff Kingsbury would you play any of the team’s starters?
I wouldn’t, save for 1st or 2nd year starters who could profit from taking a few reps. Players like the ILB tandem of Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, for example. And even with Simmons and Collins, maybe their time is best relegated to playing the 1st quarters versus the Cowboys and Chiefs.
Despite not having any pre-season games last year, the Cardinals played well in their first game win over the 49ers at Santa Clara. Thus, the Cardinals already have a reason to believe that their starters do not need to play token reps in any of the pre-season games.
Therefore, the Chiefs vs. Cardinals’ nationally televised pre-season game in Week 2 more likely will be a showdown between Chad Henne and Colt McCoy. Or —- if the coaches feel that veteran backups should be preserved as well, then the showdown could be between Anthony Gordon versus Chris Streveler in the 1st half and Shane Buechele versus Cole McDonald in the 2nd half.
Here’s a guess as to what the pre-season lineups for most of the action might look like for the Cardinals:
Offense (10 Personnel):
QB Chris Streveler/Cole McDonald
RB Eno Benjamin/Jonathan Ward/Tavien Feaster
WR Christian Kirk/A.J. Richardson
WR Andy isabella/JoJo Ward/Andre Baccelia
WR Rondale Moore/Darece Roberson
WR KeeSean Johnson/Isaac Whitney
TE (11 & 12 Personnel) Darrell Daniels/Ian Bunting/Bernhard Seikovits/Carey Angeline/Bruno Labelle
LT Josh Jones/Joshua Miles
LG Max Garcia/Koda Martin
C Lamont Gaillard/Michal Menet
RG Justin Murray/Michal Menet
RT Joshua Miles/Justin Murray/Brandon Bowen
Defense (34 Base):
LDE Zach Allen/Cam Murray
NT Leki Fotu/David Parry
RDE Rahsard Lawrence/Michael Dogbe
SAM OLB Victor Dimukeje//Shareef Miller
MIKE ILB Zaven Collins/Tanner Vallejo/Evan Weaver
WILL ILB Isaiah Simmons/Ezekiel Turne/Terrance Smith
BANDIT OLB Kylie Fitts/Reggie Walker
LCB Tay Gowan/Picasso Nelson
SS Deionte Thompson/Shawn Williams
FS James Wiggins/Chris Miller
RCB Marco Wilson/Lorenzo Burns
NCB (Nickel) Jace Whitaker/Rico Gafford
K Matt Prater
LS Aaron Brewer
P Andy Lee
- Would you be intrigued and excited to watch the Cardinals’ youth compete in the three pre-season games?
- Or do you think that the Cardinals should play their veteran starters at least in one pre-season game?
I would be fine with the Cardinals playing just the younger players. I think it is an excellent opportunity for them to compete for roster spots and accelerate their development.