As far as preseason openers go, the Cardinals’ 2013 debut at Lambeau Field couldn’t have gone much better than it did.
The quarterback play was superb (starter Carson Palmer threw for 77 yards and a touchdown and backup Drew Stanton threw for 107 yards and a touchdown), the offensive line created plenty of time in pass protection (one sack allowed), the defense rose to the occasion (goal line stand and two turnovers forced) and most importantly, no players suffered major injuries.
Preseason or not, Bruce Arians and Co. took care of business in impressive fashion, as they blanked the Green Bay Packers 17-0 Friday night.
A competent quarterback can go a long way towards making an offense look good and in the preseason opener, the Cardinals had two in Palmer and Stanton. Both quarterbacks were opportunistic, turning turnovers into touchdown drives.
Todd Bowles’ first-team defense forced two turnovers in the first half, but it was their first quarter goal line stand highlighted by David Carter’s fourth down stop that changed the complexion of the contest.
The Cardinals only used two running backs on the night, and while rookie Stepfan Taylor ran for 64 yards, on the whole the unit didn’t have much of an impact (2.6 yards per carry) on the final result.
Jay Feely and Will Batson also didn’t have a huge hand in Arizona’s 17-point victory. The Cardinals’ two placekickers combined to go 1-for-4.
He Said It:
“It was a little bittersweet. It was good to be back out there but you only get so many opportunities. It was good to get the ball moving and score but we wanted to get one more series, and Bruce (Arians) said it was time to get the young guys in. But it was a good first opportunity. There is a lot to clean up. There is going to be a lot of film, especially for the backups and guys that are going to be playing key roles as backups. We will look at the film and continue to keep going through camp.” — Carson Palmer on the offense being on the field together for the first time in a game
• Daryn Colledge (nerve damage in his leg) missed the first professional game of his NFL career.
• Rookie Tyrann Mathieu returned a punt for 24 yards and also recorded one of the Cardinals’ three sacks.
• Undrafted free agents Charles Hawkins and Jaron Brown combined to catch nine passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.
• The only injury of note was sustained by rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson, who suffered what was described as a hip pointer by Bruce Arians after the game.
• Arizona has won three of its last four preseason openers.
Coming Up Next:
The Cardinals will return to University of Phoenix Stadium next Saturday to take on Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 of the 2013 Preseason. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m. MST.