The Arizona Cardinals starting units looked impressive in their opening preseason game on Saturday night.
Despite losing 34-19 to the Kansas City Chiefs, the performances from many key players impressed one notable NFL writer.
Adam Schein of NFL.com wrote about what he liked from Saturday’s game, and why he thinks the Cardinals are among the elite class in the NFC.
Don’t sleep on Arizona. Bruce Arians’ team won 11 games last season and made the playoffs despite a wave of injuries that would’ve buried most teams. So what happens if this squad can stay relatively healthy in 2015? It’s an enticing question.
Carson Palmer looked splendid in a brief appearance against Kansas City on Saturday night, completing all four of his passes for 77 yards. Andre Ellington looked healthy and showed sizzle — particularly on a 57-yard catch-and-run out of the backfield. Tyrann Mathieu also appeared to have a clean bill of health, picking off an Alex Smith pass on the Chiefs’ opening drive.
The Cardinals have the top head coach-general manager combo in the NFL today. And I think Arizona is the third-best team in the NFC, behind Green Bay and Seattle.
The final score from Saturday’s game is a bit deceiving, as the team led the Chiefs 10-0 after the first quarter while the starter’s were in the game.
Both sides of the ball made highlight reel plays in the few possessions that the starters played.
Palmer, who played in his first game since undergoing ACL surgery last November, looked extremely sharp. The Cardinals quarterback led the team right down the field for a touchdown in his lone possession of the game.
The team went 6-0 in games that Palmer started last season, and if he can stay healthy, there is no reason to doubt Schein’s claim that the Cardinals can be an elite team in the NFL this season.
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