Arizona Cardinals Recap
The Cardinals wrapped up their second preseason game this season with a 20-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Carson Palmer and David Johnson along with most of the first team offense saw action on the very first drive. Johnson looked like himself in limited action on three carries for 16 yards. Palmer missed Jaron Brown on a deep play, but ended up throwing a nice touchdown to Brittan Golden. A tight window for him to make the throw; Palmer slung that thing in there for the Cardinals’ first score. The first drive was very balanced between both run and pass plays.
Fantasy Focus: 5 steps to making the right trade this fantasy season
Cardinals’ Running Backs
Cardinals fans also got a chance to see 31 year old running back Chris Johnson play. He did not do much, but there is only so much you can do with three carries. However, the best running back of the night was definitely Andre Ellington. He was all over the field whether he was getting carries or catching passes out of the backfield. Ellington actually lead the team in receptions with four for 31 yards. The bad news when it comes to the running backs was Kerwynn Williams. Williams had a real bad fumble and saw no more carries after that. That opened the door for Elijhaa Penny to close out the game as the lead back. Not a great sign for Williams. He definitely took a step back last night.
Defense Made Stops When It Mattered
The defense overall played great. In particular on one drive the Raiders had a 3rd and one from the Arizona 46 yard line. They were stuffed on both rushing attempts and the Cardinals took over on downs. Two defensive players in particular really stood out. Robert Nkemdiche was wrecking havoc all night in both pressuring the quarterback and making stops in the run game. The other player who stood out was a player that the Cardinals signed just over a week ago: Josh Bynes.
Bynes is an undrafted linebacker from Auburn, but made an impact right away. He lead the team in tackles, sacks, and had a forced fumble. A brand new player on the Cardinals roster he definitely got the attention of the coaches with his physical play.
Budda Baker is another player worth mentioning because he is definitely player that is still developing. Was second on the team in tackles and had a nice pass breakup. But, he also got called for pass interference in the end zone that lead to the only Raiders touchdown. Not sure if he will make a huge impact this year, but someone that may develop into a great player later down the line.
Arizona Quarterback Play
Drew Stanton reminded everybody last night why he is the number two quarterback. He went 11 for 15 for 112 yards and connected on a touchdown to tight end Troy Niklas. The only bad things were his deep ball accuracy. He missed Hubert twice on long passes. He also threw another pass in the end zone that should have been intercepted, but the defensive back dropped it.
His night was much better than that of third string quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was under pressure all night and never seemed to have a clean pocket. It seemed every time the ball was snapped to him there were either two or three black and white jerseys in the backfield.
Other Key Takeaways
Chad Williams should be worried. After sitting out, players like Brittan Golden and Jeremy Ross made the most of their playing time. Williams needs to get healthy quick so that he can start segmenting a role in the offense. Another player that Cardinals fans should be excited about is tight end Troy Niklas. Niklas is a former second round draft pick from Notre Dame who spent last season on injured reserve. However, this year he is healthy and the Cardinals could definitely try to shake up things at that position. Nobody would be opposed to seeing Jermaine Gresham grabbing some bench.