The first full week of the 2021 NFL preseason kicked off Friday night. The Arizona Cardinals knocked off the Dallas Cowboys in an entertaining affair. Key starters like Kyler Murray, A.J. Green, J.J. Watt, and DeAndre Hopkins were held out of action. This opened the door for other players to shine in the spotlight.
As every game, last night’s performance showcased positives and negatives. My four takeaways from game one of the preseason will address both aspects.
- The Cardinals draft class shows promise
The most anticipated rookie debuts were of wide receiver Rondale Moore and linebacker Zaven Collins. Both did not disappoint. Moore’s dynamic and electric playmaking prowess was on display with fun/creative play calling.
Collins made his presence felt early last night. His quick trigger and vicious ability to shoot/slice gaps against the run was fun to watch. He created a buzz on Twitter last night.
In addition, rookie cornerbacks Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan were tried often but held their own. Both rookies were competitive and showed promise.
2. Colt McCoy is a great backup option for Kyler Murray
During the broadcast last night, they detailed Kyler Murray looked up to McCoy. Murray is heading into his third season and having a smart/heady veteran backup quarterback goes a long way.
McCoy can be the extra coach in his ear and Murray is sure to take heed. As for McCoy’s on-field performance, he finished six of nine for 69 yards and nearly 10 yards per completion. His best throw was a dime down the right sideline to Christian Kirk for 34 yards. He was efficient and effective in running the offense. I am expecting to see more of the same throughout the preseason.
3. No sacks for the Cards defense
The top pass rushers Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt did not suit up last night. The rest of the defensive front did not generate consistent pressure. Mind you it is week one of the preseason, no need to panic. It is worth noting. Heading into week two, how the defensive line performs will be high on my watch list.