Matt Leinart's stats and overall command. It's been a nondescript training camp for Leinart. He completed 6 of 7 passes during the exhibition opener without standing out. The offense remains in transition and that will continue into the regular season. This game provides Leinart with an opportunity to look the part as Arizona's starter. Predecessor Kurt Warner completed 6 of 13 passes for 80 yards, one interception and a 34.1 rating in the Cardinals' second exhibition game last season. No one cared. The situation with Leinart is different because he's less proven. Leinart has gone without a touchdown pass in 12 of 13 preseason, regular season and postseason appearances since the start of last season. He hasn't always played in favorable situations, and some of those appearances were brief. Still, a touchdown drive like the one Alex Smith led the San Francisco 49ers to on Sunday night would give Leinart a welcome boost.
Evidence Beanie Wells should start at running back. This isn't a huge issue because Tim Hightower is going to play this season no matter how Wells performs. But the Cardinals' didn't use a 2009 first-round choice on Wells so he could compliment Hightower or serve as a backup. They invested a high pick in Wells because they thought he could command carries as the starter. Wells has not disappointed, but coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn't hand out starting jobs based on pedigrees, either. Wells carried 11 times for only 36 yards in the exhibition opener.
Production at receiver minus Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals expect to weather Warner's retirement and the departure of several key players, including receiver Anquan Boldin. They never expected to play without Fitzgerald for any significant stretch. Leinart's job becomes tougher while Fitzgerald recovers from a knee injury suffered in the exhibition opener. The team is also expected to give Early Doucet time to recover from an abdominal injury. Onrea Jones, undrafted free agent Stephen Williams and third-round choice Andre Roberts are three lesser-known receivers I'll be watching in this game. Depth at receiver is diminished without Boldin, so the Cardinals would like to see one of the youngsters emerge.
Emerging second-round choice Daryl Washington. Thirteen tackles, one pass defensed and a fumble recovery set apart Washington in his preseason rookie debut against the Houston Texans. The Cardinals have depth issues at linebacker, so it's great for the team if Washington builds on what he showed last week. NFC West teams have had success finding linebackers in the second round -- think Lofa Tatupu in Seattle, James Laurinaitis in St. Louis -- and Arizona could be next in line with Washington.
That other recent second-round choice. Outside linebacker Cody Brown's career is only now beginning after the 2009 second-round choice missed his rookie season while recuperating from a wrist injury. Brown hasn't shown much to this point of the summer. He made three tackles in the exhibition opener, including one for no gain, but the Cardinals could really use him as a pass-rusher.
Luck with injuries. The Cardinals have remained a relatively healthy team under Whisenhunt, with much credit going to strength-and-conditioning coach John Lott. Luck also plays a role. With Fitzgerald already out, another significant injury would come as a serious downer for a team already fighting to overcome personnel losses.
This game is scheduled to kick off after 8 p.m. ET. What else will you be watching for?