- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
- 0 Shares
1. Pass-rush inflation: The Cardinals did get pressure on Aaron Rodgers at times, but not from their outside linebackers. Darnell Dockett was active and dominant, appearing healthier than he was last season. Fellow defensive end Calais Campbell also got pressure. O'Brien Schofield repeatedly pressured Matt Flynn once the backups were in the game. That was a good sign for Arizona, but also a reflection of that inflation referenced in the lead-in to this item. Green Bay allowed five sacks in its first preseason game. This one offered more of the same. I'd be interested in seeing Schofield work with the first-team defense in the next preseason game. Joey Porter and Clark Haggans don't need the work as much at this point in their careers.
2. Running back ball security: Ball security was the least of the Cardinals' worries at running back once rookie second-round choice Ryan Williams left the game on a motorized cart. Williams suffered an injured right knee after a Packers player landed on him. The Cardinals quickly announced that Williams would not return. They'll know more upon receiving MRI results. Arizona's ground game was generally strong against Green Bay. Beanie Wells ran hard and protected the ball through some hard collisions. It's looking like the Cardinals might need a lot more of that after Williams' injury. Tim Hightower, traded to Washington after the team drafted Williams, had a 58-yard run and a 1-yard touchdown run for the Redskins on Friday night.
3. Kevin Kolb affirmations: The Cardinals' new quarterback wisely kept throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, covered or not. The diving one-handed catch Fitzgerald made wasn't even a one-handed catch. He caught the ball between his forearm and shoulder pad. Kolb: "They had a drop-eight situation where the back was getting out underneath him, so I just tried to get it to a spot where he couldn’t get it and I knew Larry was going to try to do something special, and he did. I didn’t mean to put it out that far, but it is nice to have somebody on your side that can make those kinds of plays. Playmaking is not a problem for us. For us it is about cleaning up the details." There were times when Kolb held the ball too long, inviting pressure a couple of times and throwing too late for an open Fitzgerald another time. I thought Kolb's offensive line generally held up well in protection. Having Clay Matthews watching from the sideline had to help. The Cardinals sustained two long drives with Kolb in the lineup, but they settled for field goals on both of them. Penalties were a problem.
Looking back upon three things discussed here before the Arizona Cardinals' 28-20 preseason defeat at Green Bay on Friday night:1. Pass-rush inflation: The Cardinals did get pressure on Aaron Rodgers at times, but not from their outside linebackers.