In the first football game of the new league year, the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys squared off in the Hall of Fame Game. Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys were able to edge the Cardinals out in a grudge match. Thankfully for Cardinal fans, it’s just preseason and the star players for both teams sat out this game to avoid possible injury. In this Pre-Season Game Cardinal fans were able to check out the 2nd string players, along with the fringe “on the bubble” players. Some Players for the Cardinals took the chance to showcase their talents while others seemed to freeze up in the spotlight.
- When Blaine Gabbert signed with the Cardinals in May, no one thought that he could steal the job away from Drew Stanton. However, after last nights impressive play where Gabbert completed 11 of 14 passes for a total of 185 yards, the idea is likely not only in the minds of Cardinal fans but also in the mind of Drew Stanton. With the benching of all starters – and Drew Stanton – last night, Gabbert took the chance to showcase his skills in front of the entire coaching staff. After posting a Quarterback Rating of 118.8 it looks like Gabbert is certainly applying the pressure to Stanton.
- It looks like people are starting to see the potential from Arizona Cardinals 2016 1st Round Selection Robert Nkemdiche. We heard high praise from Head Coach Bruce Arians about Nkemdiche throughout the off-season, but Cardinal fans wanted to see it translate to the field. On Thursdays Pre-Season Game against the Cowboys it seemed as if no one could stop Nkemdiche from disrupting the running game. Throughout the first half the Dallas Cowboys attempted to rotate players to block Robert, but they failed and had no answer for the 2nd year player out of Ole Miss. Finally, anxious Cardinal fans can calm themselves, as it seems like Nkemdiche is starting to mature into a very productive NFL Player.
- It was very nice to see 2nd round pick Budda Baker get into the mix as he likely to impressed coaches and Cardinal fans alike. Just like teammate Tyrann Mathieu, Budda is as versatile as they come in the National Football League. Baker showed that showed that he can do everything from batting down balls to rushing the passer. The hype about Budda Baker seems to be true, if he continues to contribute during the regular season like he did on Thursday then the Cardinals will have some much needed depth in the Secondary.
- Don’t be fooled by Brandon Williams interception during the Cardinals first Preseason Game on Thursday. Williams was nothing short of awful against the Cowboys. It appears as though Williams is constantly getting lost in coverage or getting burned deep by opposing Wide Receivers. An example of this was late in the 1st quarter when Cowboys WR Brice Butler absolutely burned Williams off the line for a 32 yard gain. With Brandon Williams showing very little promise as a Cornerback, it has many Cardinal fans – including myself – wondering whether Williams will even make the roster.
- To be fair, T.J. Logan was very impressive on Thursday and absolutely had Cardinal fans ecstatic about the future of the Special Teams. During the Cardinals Preseason game against the Cowboys T.J. Logan averaged 35 yards per return, along with this he averaged 6 yards a carry on Offense. As the game went on many in attendance were excited about the presence of the 5th Round pick out of the University of North Carolina. Unfortunately, tragedy struck the stand out rookie on Thursday when he was hit hard by Cowboys Safety Jameill Showers early in the 4th quarter and dislocated Logan’s wrist. T.J. Logan will go on IR and will miss 12 weeks – which now leaves a huge hole on Special Teams for the Arizona Cardinals without many options to replace him.
There is definitely a lot of good to take away from the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday. The biggest blow right now is the Cardinals loss of T.J. Logan – it’ll be interesting to see on Saturday how the Cardinals respond to his absence. The Cardinals versus Raiders should be interesting, but be sure to keep your eye on the Special Teams and of course Brandon Williams.
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