I’ve always wanted to write a running diary like Bill Simmons, but I realize now that it’s a lot of work. I watched the game telecast locally live, watched the NFL Network telecast, and now am watching the local telecast
again to write this post. Considering this is the first running diary I have ever written, let’s hope it goes well.
1st quarter, 15:00
Kickoff! Arizona wins the toss, elects to receive, and the ball sails out of the end zone. First play is an 18 yard
pass to Michael Floyd. He is primed to have a big year, considering most teams will put two defenders around
Larry Fitzgerald. Next play is a 3 yard run. The team is going to have to run the ball better than that if they want to stay balanced throughout the season. A second straight ineffective run leaves the cardinals with a 3rd and long.
Not a great start on the ground. The Packers rush 4, and the offensive line gives Carson Palmer plenty of
time to throw the ball. Carson goes deep to Andre Roberts, the throw coming up just short. It was a good play call, Roberts was open. I like the fact that they are going for more than just the 7 yards needed, keeping the foot on the gas pedal. Deep Attempts: 1.
1st quarter, 12:33
Green Bay hurries to the line and catches the Cardinals with too many men on the field. On the play, there was also a flag thrown on Patrick Peterson for holding. He had his hand on the jersey of the receiver, but I liked the coverage. Possibly because of the penalty, Peterson was able to get his hands on the pass to knock it away. After a run and a pass to Jermichael Finley, the Cardinals bring a blitz and cannot prevent the 3rd down conversion after Aaron Rodgers hits his hot route.
1st quarter 10:00
Rodgers throws deep down the sideline and connects with James Jones. Antoine Cason was burned by Jones in the 1 on 1 situation there. Cason looks like his predecessor William Gay right there, behind a receiver running free. So far the defense has not looked good. The Packers are gaining yards at will. On 2nd and goal, the Packers run a pick play and Rodgers misfires; which almost feels sacrilegious to type. Rashad Johnson makes a great play on 3rd down to knock the ball out of Finley’s hands to prevent the touchdown. Johnson is going to have to step up this season as the starting safety, filling the large shoes of Adrian Wilson. Packers line up to go for 4th down, a gutsy call. The defense does their best “bend but don’t break” on this drive, preventing the touchdown. After the upheld review, it looks like the Cardinals catch a break, the ball clearly crossing the goal line.
1st quarter 6:53
Palmer attempts to go deep attempt to Floyd, which resulted in an offensive pass interference penalty on Floyd. Looks like a weak shove, especially on an overthrown pass, but there was no real impact. Cardinals punt. Deep Attempts: 2.
1st quarter, 4:19
Interception! Patrick Peterson picks off the Graham Harrell pass. I’m not quite sure what Harrell was thinking there, and that was an easy interception for Peterson. Look forward to seeing that in the regular season, with Peterson flashing his return skills by going 23 yards. The Cardinals are now on offense, and there goes a deep pass to Roberts. Beautiful pass this time resulting in a touchdown. Deep Attempts: 3
1st quarter, 3:30
Zach Nash misses a tackle in space against James Starks. For a guy who is fighting to make the team, that is not what you want to see out of him. He’s cut.
1st quarter, 1:43
Cardinals bring the blitz and Harrell is able to find his hot route. Curtis Taylor misses the tackle and #83 for the Packers is able to gain 22 yards. He shouldn’t be around come September. At this point, the defense has not
looked very good at all. Bowles has a lot of work to do with these guys to get them to play to the potential we all saw under Ray Horton, the former defensive coordinator. Green Bay rushes to the line, this time forcing the Cardinals to take a time out. The defense needs to be more prepared for these type situations.
End of 1st Quarter. Cardinals 7, Packers 0
2nd Quarter, 14:50
YES! John Abraham sack and fumble, which is recovered by the defense. That was great to see, looking forward to a lot more of those throughout the season. The emphasis on turnovers by Bowles and Arians is evident, with the Cardinals already having forced 2 turnovers.
Drew Stanton is now in at quarterback. Palmer had a good day, completing 4 of 6 passes for 77 yards and a TD;
including 3 deep pass attempts. Stanton’s first pass looks good and hits D.C. Jefferson right in the hands and he drops it. Not a good start for the 7th round pick out of Rutgers. Stanton’s 2nd pass was much better, a deep pass to Charles Hawkins. Hawkins is fighting to make the roster as one of the 5 or 6 wide receivers that the team keeps. That catch will definitely get him closer to that goal. Hawkins makes another first down with a great effort after the catch. Deep Attempts: 4.
2nd quarter, 11:46
Arians is not happy with the offense as they are forced to call time out. He appears to yell “Get your ass off the field” to Jaron Brown, another one of the wide receivers fighting to make the team. On the play following the time out, Stanton juuuuuuust misses an open Jefferson in the end zone.
Touchdown! Stanton throws a nice fade to Brown, just one play after he got screamed at by the coach. That is probably the quickest way to get out of the doghouse.
2nd quarter, 9:18
I am the worst at watching recorded shows. I always forget that I can fast forward through the commercials.
2nd quarter, 8:30
The defense looks good on 2 consecutive plays. Stuffs the run on 2nd and 1, and then forces an incomplete pass on 3rd and 1. Jonathon Amaya crushes the receiver and disconnects him from the ball. Amaya is looking to make the team as a safety behind Johnson and Yeremiah Bell. From what I have seen, it looks like he may have the early inside track to landing a spot on the 53 man roster.
2nd quarter, 7:43
Jaron Brown has to make a late adjustment to run to the other side of the formation. Not sure if it was his mistake, but it certainly looks like it. Of course, he follows it up with a first down catch on the next play. Brown is up and down at this point, but at least he is making plays. Speaking of Brown, another 15 yard catch for him, adjusting to a throw
behind him to make the catch. On the next play, Stepfan Taylor runs for a few yards. It feels like every single run by the team so far has been under 5 yards. As if on cue, another ineffective run for 1 yard.
Stanton runs for a first down after deftly avoiding the sack. He spins out of the defenders arms and runs for the team’s longest run so far, 8 yards. Taylor, obviously taking offense that the quarterback has the longest run of the day, rips off a 14 yard run for another first down. After 5 straight run plays, the team goes to the air again, with Stanton unfortunately not able to connect with Brown.
2nd quarter, 2:30
Feely misses a 53 yard field goal. Looks like it lands well short. And yet again, I forget to fast forward through the commercials. The human kindness commercials, in spite of their good message, are super annoying. Coming back from the commercials, the Packers complete a pass and Javier Arenas makes the tackle. Arenas has had a solid game so far, seemingly cementing his spot on the roster.
HALFTIME, Cardinals 14, Packers 0
Kickoff 3rd quarter
Team President Michael Bidwill is in the booth being interviewed in the booth. His jacket remind me of this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGWbt3DSje0 On to the play on the field, Daryl Washington makes a tackle. Looks like he is going to play a lot, to help make up for those snaps he will miss while serving his suspension.
3rd Quarter, 13:18
Stanton gets CRUSHED as he hangs in there and delivers a great throw to Brown. Brown has really made some good catches today. Stanton avoids another sack, and completes a pass to Hawkins. The Cardinals might have one of the most ready backup quarterbacks in the league. Stanton looks very comfortable in this offense.
3rd quarter, 8:17
Will Batson, in camp competing as a Kicker/Punter, misses a field goal. Cut!
3rd quarter, 6:07
Tyrann Mathieu with the sack. That is great to see, showing off his versatility. The announcers are overly effusive with their praise, saying he is already the best pass rusher on the team. Not taking away from his skills, but that’s absurd. Mathieu returns the ensuing punt, and it takes 5 players to bring him down as he gains 5 yards. He is definitely going to be an exciting person to watch all year.
3rd quarter, 4:40
Dan Buckner throws his name into the wide receiver race, laying out for a nice catch. I am not going to say I hope he doesn’t make the team because he went to the University of Arizona. I just want the best talent and the guys who will help the team win. It doesn’t look like Buckner is one of those top guys yet, but his size could definitely be an asset.
Batson misses again, never really looking like it was going in.
End of 3rd Quarter, Arizona 14, Green Bay 0
4th Quarter, 12:16
Hawkins makes a good catch, coming back nicely for the ball on the pass from Ryan Lindley. At the end of the play he fumbles and recovers it himself. He is not good enough to overcome having fumbling problems, so he needs to ensure that he holds on to that football. 2 plays later, Lindley hits Robby Toma for a large gain. Based on the performance of the receivers today, this catch brings him about even with Buckner (behind Hawkins and Brown). Deep Attempts: 5.
Stepfan Taylor has received a large workload today. That last carry was his 17th carry of the game. He has impressed me today in the running game, taking what he can get and making a few nice moves.
4th Quarter, 6:40
Great punt return by Mathieu. He has really looked like he belongs in the NFL, and is looking like a draft steal at this point. Great job by the GM Steve Keim to take a chance when others wouldn’t. Lindley greatly underthrows his receiver, but the team gets a pass interference penalty on the defense. Turns out to be a 40 yard gain. First and goal, the play call is a fade to the back of the end zone. I love that this play call has returned to the playbook. Larry Fitzgerald is among the best in the league at catching that fade pass, this play should be quite productive in the regular season.
4th quarter, 3:11
Caleb TerBush is in at quarterback. This is over.
Final: Arizona Cardinals 17, Green Bay Packer 0
The team escaped the first preseason game without any major injuries. While a player won’t make the team because of a good game 1 performance, a player can certainly not make the team based off of their game 1 performance. A few players have made strides toward making the team, but everything is still fluid at this point. The players who made the most impact were both receivers. Charles Hawkins and Javon Brown put their names at the top of the list to make the team as the 4th or 5th wide receiver.
Understanding that it was the first preseason game, it still showed that the Cardinals are going to try to get big yardage through the air. That is exciting as a fan, and I look forward to watching the rest of the preseason to see who will make the team.