The Same Page
Continuity within the first-team offense had been lacking in the preseason, particularly with a new quarterback and starters at different positions. The unit appeared to be in sync on Saturday as Kevin Kolb led the Cardinals on three scoring drives, including an 80-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald rebounded from just one catch against Green Bay to reel in three catches and 108 yards against San Diego.
The offensive line also provided good protection and opened up holes for Beanie Wells, who rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries. The unit also cut down on the penalties, which had been a problem during the first two games of the preseason.
Hits Keep Coming
Adding to the Cardinals’ injury woes, starting cornerback Greg Toler suffered an ACL injury in the first quarter and will miss the remainder of the season. Add him to safety Adrian Wilson (biceps), running back Ryan Williams (knee), receiver Max Komar (knee), running back Alfonso Smith (hamstring) and quarterback John Skelton (ankle) and the Big Red are walking wounded before the season can even get underway.
Bend But Don’t Break?
Arizona’s defense last season was prone to giving up the big play, which is something the coaches and the front office focused on in the abbreviated offseason. Preaching discipline, knowing assignments and working as a unit, the coaching staff has had the defense playing well thus far.
Saturday’s game saw some positives, but also showed the defense still has some work to do. The unit gave up a few big plays, struggled to put pressure on Philip Rivers and missed opportunities late in the game to secure a win. However, the defense also saw rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson make a fantastic interception and take it back for a score as well as sound play from second-year linebacker Daryl Washington. Rookie defensive lineman David Carter also held his own in reserve duty.
The Arizona Cardinals wrap up their preseason Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium against the Denver Broncos.