5 Takeaways from Cardinals Preseason Game 1

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 17-13 this Thursday in what would be their first preseason game as well as the debut of rookie Quarterback, Kyler Murray.

The starting group only saw roughly one drive each before being rested, giving bench/role players the opportunity to shine for a spot on the eventual 53-man roster. With that being said, let’s overreact to the small sample size that we saw Thursday.

  1. Kyler can really “sling it”
    • 6-7 with 44 yards passing. The only “incomplete” came from his receiver catching the ball after accidentally stepping out of bounds first. All of Kyler’s passes were crisp, accurate, and fast. Kyler’s ability to control the offense with poise & calm (on his birthday nonetheless) was a welcomed sight. My overreaction for K1 would be that I have ZERO concerns with him at the helm going forward. As advertised, 5 star review on Google, the works.
  2. Offensive line
    • Ghost of 2018? This will be hard to tell. Only two instances of the line breaking down (1st string). One play where Kyler had to scramble right and make a play, most likely an improper blitz pickup. The other, which is being deemed a “snap count” issue where the tackles must have been on the wrong count, making them late to get off the line. Ideally, we won’t see as many breakdowns with the offensive line due to the ball coming out faster on shorter plays. The big highlight for me was the successful screenplay with the right side of the line moving up the field. FINALLY, a screen that works! My overreaction for 2019: A slightly “better” o-line performance.
  3. Defense
    • Ghost of 2018 pt 2??? Holy run defense, what happened?! The 2015-2016 Cardinals defense is about as far in the past as the ’85 Bears defense. I will address the broken tackles in my next takeaway, right now we need to talk defensive scheme. Are the players just playing it safe? Extra vanilla scheme? Both? If so, I’ll accept it. But if this is the type of defense Vance Joseph plans to roll out, I hope he can break his lease easily. Granted there are tons of rust, conditioning, and a lack of significance to a preseason game to consider. BUT, my overreaction for 2019: The offense is going to have to carry the load for the defense.
  4. Broken tackles = rusty players
    • I may be the minority here, but I am not concerned with the broken tackles in this game. Preseason game 1 and all the preseason games for that matter are riddled with poor tackling nationwide. Since the physicality of minicamps and OTAs have been dwindled down through the years, preseason games have become the avenue for players to shake the rust off to prepare for the physicality that a regular-season brings. Even going into the first few weeks of the season tackling can be suspect. My overreaction here for 2019: Tackling will not be an issue with the defense.
  5. Trent Sherfield fighting for a spot
    • The young man had himself a day against the Chargers. With Isabella and White out for the game with injuries, Sherfield made his presence felt with 4/5 catches for 44 yards and 1 TD. Even more notably, a beautiful Special Teams tackle. Special Teams may be where he sees the most action in 2019, but his WR play will make for some very tough decisions for the coaching staff. It’s a very crowded room, but my 2019 overreaction is: Trent Sherfield sees decent minutes as a WR in 2019.

Leave your bold predictions in the comments!