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Cardinals’ Pre-Season Games 2021

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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

Special Teams

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.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Syndication: The Oklahoman ROB SCHUMACHER/THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC via Imagn Content Services, LLC