NFL Preseason Preview: Arizona Cardinals at the Atlanta Falcons

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
Nov 27, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is pressured by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) in the second quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Week Three NFL Preseason Matchup

The biggest week of the preseason is here. Tonight at 7 PM ET the Arizona Cardinals will take on the Atlanta Falcons. This game will feature one of the most high-powered offenses from a season ago against as a very solid defensive secondary. Besides the players playing is this game, the game will also be different because of the way the Cardinals prepared. They practiced all week in preparation of the Falcons, as opposed to past weeks where they were figuring out their internal processes. Going up against the defending NFC champions; this should be a great test to evaluate this Cardinals roster.


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Three Things to Watch For

Offensive Line

Can the offensive line hold up against the Falcons pass-rush? The offensive line has struggled thus far throughout the preseason. It will no be easy task against the Falcons either with Vic Beasley and company coming after Carson Palmer. The images at the top of the article describes it all. But if the offensive line is able to hold up in pass protection, it bodes well for the regular season.

Wide Receivers

It appears that finally all of the wide receivers are healthy. Hopefully they can all play in tonight’s game to give fans a good perspective on the group moving forward. Still, none of the receivers have really impressed during the preseason, so if somebody steps up tonight, they have a great chance of having a major impact on the roster moving forward. With Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Chad Williams practically locks to make the roster, there are a lot of receivers fighting for that last spot. Some may disagree, but Brittan Golden has shown the most of the rest of the group so there is a strong chance he makes the roster.

Cornerback Justin Bethel

The cornerback battle is over. Bethel will start opposite Patrick Peterson. An interesting player especially in fantasy football leagues that feature individual defensive players, expect Bethel to be picked on often by opposing quarterbacks. Being the Robin to Patrick Peterson’s Batman, Bethel better be ready to compete especially against the Falcons receivers. Look for the Falcons to move Julio Jones and other offensive players to avoid Peterson and get their best offensive players against the number two corner on the Cardinals. It will be interesting to see if Bethel is up to the challenge. This will be the first year where he is the full-time starter.

Importance of this Game

The third preseason game is the most important of the all the preseason games. It essentially acts as the dress rehearsal for the teams. For the Cardinals winning is not necessarily the goal, but they need to compete. They are going against arguably the best team in NFC so they need to play well. No stupid penalties and no broken coverages. Ideally, the first team offense would score quickly and the first team defense would make some stops. The less that David Johnson plays the better. Sincerely, every fantasy football owner.

– Andrew Erickson covers the Cardinals for cover32. Like and follow on

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