Friday, August 31, 2012
Three things revisited: Broncos-Cardinals
By Mike Sando
Looking back on three things discussed here before the Arizona Cardinals' fifth and final exhibition game, this one at home against the Denver Broncos:
1. Lindley's opportunity. Third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley started the game and played extensively. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in two-plus quarters. He missed a couple throws, including including on a short third-down pass to William Powell in the right flat. But he stood calmly in the pocket with bodies crashing around him. He got rid of the ball quickly. Lindley passed his first test. Update: An injury to Rich Bartel has led Arizona to put Lindley back into the game late in the third quarter. I'll update this item as warranted.
2. Pass protection. Left tackle D'Anthony Batiste gave up immediate pressure on Lindley's first pass attempt. Batiste set to the outside and whiffed against Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers, who beat Batiste to the inside and was untouched. Lindley got the ball out to Andre Roberts from a three-step drop, but by then Ayers was hitting Lindley in the back. Overall, the protection was better than it has been. The Broncos held out nearly all their starters, including top pass-rushers Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. That makes it tough to project how Batiste and right tackle Bobby Massie might fare in Week 1, should they remain the starters. We'll find out Friday whether the Cardinals think Levi Brown has a chance to return from triceps surgery this season.
3. Floyd watch. First-round draft choice Michael Floyd came alive following a sleepy preseason. His 22-yard touchdown reception from Lindley would have made Larry Fitzgerald proud. Floyd was falling backward in the end zone as a defender hooked him. He reached out with his left hand, tipping the ball to keep it from descending. Floyd then cradled the ball with his left hand, finishing the play.