Friday, September 2, 2011
Three things revisited: Cardinals-Broncos
By Mike Sando
Looking back on three things discussed here before the Arizona Cardinals' preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night:
1. Patrick Peterson's impact: Peterson was in the lineup opposite A.J. Jefferson after the Cardinals lost incumbent starting corner Greg Toler to a season-ending knee injury. That was no shock. Peterson was the fifth overall choice in the draft, after all. If he wasn't going to start after the team traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and lost Toler for the season, what would it take? Of course, Peterson is going t play extensively this season whether or not he starts right away. He gained 10 yards on a punt return against the Broncos and nearly had more, but this game wouldn't feature another big play from him. Peterson had returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown in the team's previous exhibition game. He didn't register a stat in this one.
2. Quarterback depth: Kevin Kolb, Rich Bartel and Brodie Croyle played for the Cardinals. The offensive line kept them well protected for the most part. Kolb attempted only two passes, getting out of the game early. Bartel completed 12 of 16 passes for 216 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His passer rating was 130.2. This was a positive step for Bartel, a candidate to open the season as the Cardinals' No. 2 quarterback, ahead of John Skelton. Skelton missed this game with an ankle injury. Bartel has played well enough in Skelton's absence to merit strong consideration for the No. 2 role, but Kolb is the only quarterback on the team whose place on the depth chart is entirely secure.
3. Young pass-rushers: Will Davis got pressure a few times. Sam Acho had three tackles. I was looking to see whether or not O'Brien Schofield would make an impact. This was pretty much a throwaway game, however. Brady Quinn started at quarterback for the Broncos, completing 4 of 12 passes with a 2.2-yard average per attempt. The Cardinals were leading 26-0 midway through the fourth quarter when I decided to publish this item rather than wait through the remainder of the game. Bring on the regular season, please.