Cardinals’ ugly showing makes it hard to remember ‘it’s only preseason’
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Welcome to the Valley of the Sun.
Home of blistering 118-degree August temperatures.
Home of Cactus League baseball.
Oh, and home to some of the most reactionary football fans on Planet Earth.
There’s no sugar-coating it, Thursday night’s effort (and I use that term loosely) by the Arizona Cardinals was ugly from every angle you looked at it — especially when the starters were on the field.
But losing badly to the Oakland Raiders on a Thursday night in August is not the indicator of how Kliff Kingsbury’s team will fare in 2019.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Cardinals will be anywhere close to a playoff contender this year. There are just too many areas of concern on this roster right now. In fact, in terms of record, I think Arizona will show a small improvement over the tire fire that was 2018’s mark.
But I’m also convinced the “real” product starting in September won’t resemble this.
I’m a pessimist by nature, but even I couldn’t believe some of the (over)reaction that popped up on my Twitter feed during the contest.
There was the “changes need to be made on the coaching staff” crowd:
This is awful. The defence is so bad. Cut your losses now with the DC and find someone who can run a defence.
— Susan Schuetze (@schuetze_susan) August 16, 2019
There was a large contingent forming the “it’s never too early to give up on the future quarterback” crowd:
Kyler is a bust in the making. @danbickley can live on the Kyler mountain as long as he wants. The rest of us smart people want a real Qb not a gimmicky college tiny QB.
— Max Rockatansky (@MadMax_Rocks) August 16, 2019
— ismael medina (@ismaelmedina14) August 16, 2019
Was @K1 a mistake???? This team is horrible! Worse than last years!
— Nito (@Monroy07Nito) August 16, 2019
Looks like Murrays legs and arm couldn’t do crap. Watching a damn college team. Bic better not say its only pre season tomorrow because last week he was going crazy with how Murray looked. Now he will just say its pre season bunch of CRAP
— william santillan (@azcardinal13) August 16, 2019
Williams/healthy Bosa would look really good right now haha.
— A.J. C (@colpaert_a) August 16, 2019
Some support for the “what are these guys so happy about” group:
— Mark Ferrel (@Ferrel386) August 16, 2019
And there was even the “I give up” sect:
Well at least I can start planning my Sunday afternoons for the rest of the year. The offense may get better but that defense. OMG!!!!!!
— StevenH (@StevenH7179) August 16, 2019
I get it, I think. Football conjures the most extreme emotions from fans. Last week, many at State Farm Stadium were wondering if Kyler Murray would ever throw a legitimate incompletion. Seven days later, I wouldn’t be surprised if members of the lunatic fringe are burning his jersey in a parking lot (or at least putting it up for sale on eBay.)
It’s too early for any of it.
Let me put it this way … while Arizona’s quarterback of the future was struggling, former Cardinal Mike Glennon posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 on the night. He hasn’t had a triple-digit rating for a single game in a start since 2013. His replacement, Nathan Peterman, who famously threw five interceptions in his first NFL start, and has a 3-to-12 career touchdown-to-interception ratio, went 8-for-8.
I’m more than willing to say none of the above three trends will continue.
In other words, wake me up when August ends.