On Saturday night, the Arizona Cardinals got their first win of the year. This home win for the Cards proved how much Arizona fans have to be excited about. While taking home a win is always good, it is the preseason and fans and teams alike know to take every win with a grain of salt. However, that didn’t stop the Cardinals from showcasing their talents to fans on Saturday. From Defense to Offense they played near perfect football at University of Phoenix Stadium and it has a lot of Cardinal fans impressed.
First Stringers VS First Stringers:
- Offensively, the Cardinals looked very sharp against the Raiders on Saturday Night. One thing that Cardinal fans learned about the Arizona Offence was how well the linemen can protect quarterback Carson Palmer. It wasn’t the cleanest pocket that Carson had to work with last night, but he wasn’t sacked against a talented Raiders front seven. If the Cardinals can keep Palmer protected this season then opposing Defenses will have their hands full.
- Defensively, the Cardinals look like they have some chemistry issues – which may be an easy fix – once they get familiar with each persons style of play while balancing their own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, Cardinal fans noticed the immediate impact that 2nd year player Robert Nkemdiche is having on opposing Offensive Lines. Nkemdiche was constantly disrupting the Oakland Raiders flow of the game and was a big part of why the Raiders first teamers were having some troubles moving the ball down the field. If he can fill the void that Calais Campbell once filled – Robert Nkemdiche – can be the X-factor for the Cardinals defense this year.
- There didn’t seem to be much of a competitive Quarterback battle thanks to Drew Stanton – although Blaine Gabbert couldn’t do any wrong in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Game. Stanton absolutely silenced the critics on Saturday Night as he went 11 for 15 on his passes for 112 yards with one touchdown, and a passer rating of 116.5. On the opposite side Blaine Gabbert only completed five passes for 53 yards and has a passer rating of 72.9. Also, Gabbert was absolutely man handled by the opposition, as he was sacked 4 times for 26 yards. Not Surprisingly, many would say that Stanton truly is the front-runner for the job behind Carson Palmer.
Stand out Rookie:
- For a guy that was late to the party, Cardinals Rookie Safety Budda Baker flourished for the second straight week and dominated against the Oakland Raiders. Baker looks like he has fully grasped the difficult Cardinal defensive playbook as he seems to just be at the right spot at the right time each and every play. Budda Baker doesn’t only display his critical coverage skills, but he also shows his knack for pestering the opposing teams running game and makes it difficult for opposing offenses to get into much of a flow. If Baker can fill the hole that former Cardinal Tony Jefferson once filled then it will be a huge positive for the Cardinals going into the Regular Season.
- After two weeks of the Cardinals Pre-season action it’s refreshing to have some optimism in the valley surrounding the Arizona Cardinals. After all, last night’s performance was just more assurance that the Cardinals are not the same team as last year and are ready to make one more run at the title. The Cardinals next Match-up is at home against the Chicago Bears, and it should be interesting to see how much playing time coaches give Cardinal starters on both defense and on offense.
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