The Arizona Cardinals home preseason opener with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night turned out some pretty good performances, players that are competing for roster spots put action on tape for the league to see.
There isn’t much to take from a preseason game in terms of what the team will look like to start the season because most of the guys that will be on the field in week one are not on the field at all during the preseason.
Every once in a while you will get a player or two that stands out from the rest, like Ravens tight end Isiah Likely, who made a good impression and showed he may be amongst the next stars in the NFL.
The rookie tight end torched the Cardinals’ defense in a short period of time, catching 7 balls and a touchdown during mostly one drive.
Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley had another good outing finishing with 229 yards passing on 18/34 attempts.
The only big difference this week, as opposed to last week’s almost perfect performance, was tonight the almost interceptions last week were actually picks this week.
McSorely had 2 interceptions that came from bad reads but still managed to move the team up and down the field much like last week.
Both the Ravens quarterbacks were awesome as they combined for an impressive 23/27 passing and 3 touchdowns, shredding the Cards’ defense with the short passing game all night.
The main story tonight was the play-calling duties of starting quarterback Kyler Murray, who has had the entire preseason off for games.
The team removed Murray’s study Claus from his contract a few weeks ago, and it seems like they have found a subtle new way to uphold the study clause standard without documenting it.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury had most of the second half off for the night because the play calling was being done by his starting franchise quarterback.
This may be a good thing going forward for both QB and coach.
For Kyler, it will give him a sense of how coaches see the game and how they have so much riding on every decision they make. It also will help Kyler in situational football in terms of what the game dictates the call on the field should be, leaving great respect for how difficult it can be and perhaps fewer complaints of the calls the coach may make during a game.
On the other hand, Kliff, as a coach with his QB calling the plays, gets the opportunity to get inside the head of his quarterback and see the game from how he would like to play it.
Some of his favorite calls and also the teaching him why plays are called so that he can become a better player as a result of being a better student of the game.
One thing Kingsbury will have to answer questions about will be how his quarterback called the game and orchestrated two straight scoring drives and a big comeback after trailing 24-3.
I am sure he will not live that down in the locker room and in the media during the rest of preseason.
The game concluded with a Ravens’ 22nd straight preseason win 24-17, which means absolutely nothing as to what either of these teams will be once the regular season kicks off in September.
The biggest mystery of the night for many fans was opening the preseason in the fresh new black helmets, as opposed to a meaningful game that the stars could show off to the world for the first time.
The black look was very sporty and intimidating but had no luster without star power underneath the new lid on the field.
Overall, another pretty good performance for the offense, as they moved the ball well again, hopefully, that can be a sign of what’s to come when the big dogs take the field in 2 weeks.