Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
GLENDALE, Ariz. —
:23 left in fourth quarter
The Cardinals elected not to try an onside kick — guess they’re admitting defeat in this one. The Chiefs take a knee and this one is over. Final is 34-19. Let’s see what the team has to say.
:29 left in fourth quarter
Sims hits Havey for a one-yard TD. The PAT is good and the score is 34-19. Not a bad showing from Sims on that drive. Showed good mobility and a cannon arm.
1:08 left in fourth quarter
Sims does a great job throwing on the run and hitting Travis Harvey with a well-placed deep bal. A short pass to Momah puts the ball at the KC four, but a second-down pass to Harvey falls incomplete.
1:51 left in fourth quarter
Cards get a stop, call a timeout and will have one more shot on offense.
2:00 left in fourth quarter
This one is nearly over. The Chiefs have the ball at the Arizona 45 facing a 3rd and 9. If you’re the Cardinals, you probably wouldn’t mind getting the ball back and giving Sims one more shot at running the offense. But then again, it is the first preaseason game.
5:31 left in fourth quarter
The offensive line that’s in the game for the Cards now has had some issues. Sims, mostly running for his life, is unable to move the ball. His third down pass to Momah is incomplete, and after a punt the ball once again belongs to the Chiefs.
By the way, it is announced that Person has a right knee injury and will not return.
6:42 left in fourth quarter
Former UA cornerback Shaq Richardson breaks up a third down pass, but the Chiefs convert a 34-yard field goal and move the lead to 34-12.
9:13 left in fourth quarter
Chiefs are moving down the field and there is now a break in the action as Arizona’s Brandon Person is down with an injury.
12:47 left in fourth quarter
Sims nearly hits Spadola for a touchdown on a ridiculous throw in which he scrambled to his right and launched the ball while on the move. It was ruled incomplete, and his next two passes — hurried due to pressure — also didn’t connect. Three-and-out for the Cardinals who attempt a field goal. It’s no good.
13:25 left in fourth quarter
Rodney Gunter, one of the most intriguing rookies the team has, bursts through the line and destroys Aaron Murray for a safety. That was cool. Jaxon Shipley then works some magic on the kick return to get to the Kansas City 39. It was a 56-yard return for the undrafted rookie free agent.
The score is 31-12, but those two plays are the types of things you look for at this part of the game. Phillip Sims in at QB for the Cardinals, by the way.
Still 14:04 left in fourth quarter
Call is overturned, pass is ruled incomplete. Cards send the offense back out there to go for it on fourth down. Pass to Ryan Spadola picks up three — Arizona needed four. Chiefs take over.
14:09 left in fourth quarter
Thomas corrals a high snap and hits Brittan Golden for what appears to be a touchdown. However, it was a bobbling catch and the refs are going to take another look at it. Appeared to me that the ball never hit the ground but by the time Golden got ahold of the ball he was touching the out of bounds marker. I guess we’ll see.
End of third quarter
The quarter ends with the Cardinals on the move. Thomas has been solid, with some good throws and a scramble that was close to a touchdown. As it stands, it’s second and goal from the KC four.
4:06 left in third quarter
Drive is kept alive when Thomas recognizes the blitz and hits Hughes out of the backfield for a first down. Then, Hughes moves a pile down the field for a nice run. It’s 3rd and 1 from the KC 37.
5:33 left in third quarter
Robert Hughes with some solid runs. Mostly a fullback/short-yardage option last year, he’s getting a chance to show what he can do as a running back. Also, Thomas has made some nice throws on this drive, directing the offense and looking fairly comfortable.
It’s 3rd and 2 and the Arizona 40, and while the score of the game really doesn’t matter, it would be nice to see this drive continue and end with some points.
8:02 left in third quarter
Jaxon Shipley’s kick return is nullified by an Anthony Steen hold. Cards take over at their own 11 facing a pretty sizable deficit. Interested to see how Thomas bounces back from an interception that wasn’t at all his fault.
8:08 left in third quarter
Chiefs punch it in on a 1-yard TD run for Darrin Reaves. It’s now 31-10 Chiefs.
9:46 left in third quarter
Rocket of a pass bounces off of Jaron Brown and into the hands of a KC defender. That’s not on the QB, who put the ball right on the money. Chiefs take over at the Arizona four. Remember, folks, it’s preseason.
10:30 left in third quarter
Chiefs march right down the field and score on a short touchdown pass. Not a great showing from Arizona’s defense, but again, these aren’t starters or anything like that.
24-10 Chiefs, by the way.
15:00 left in third quarter
Catanzaro’s kickoff sails into the end zone for a touchback. Chiefs start at the 20 and it’s all backups from here. It’s also players fighting to make the roster, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Chiefs begin with a false start. First and 15 from the 15.
End of first half
That’ll do it for the first 30 minutes.
First-team offense and defense looked really good for the Cardinals. After that it’s been a little spotty, but so far no major injuries and that’s the most important thing, at least in my opinion.
:07 left in second quarter
Chiefs score on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Cornerback Jimmy Legree, who has at times earned praise from the coaching staff, had a rough go of things on that drive. He was burned for one real long pass in which he looked lost, and then again on the touchdown. Not a good look for someone who is fighting to make the roster.
1:15 left in second quarter
Bad Logan showed up on a couple of inaccurate throws, killing the drive and leading to another Zastudil punt. This one goes for 45 yards, so that’s good.
Chiefs take over at their 22.
2:00 left in second quarter
Cardinals have 1st and 10 from their own 42. Thomas has looked good on this series, moving around in the pocket while keeping his head looking down the field. He’s shown solid poise and decent accuracy.
4:28 left in second quarter
Chiefs end up punching it in on a touchdown pass, and the long (which still looks funny, by the way) PAT evens the score up at 10-10.
Not much to glean from that drive, with Arizona’s third-string D getting most of the work.
5:18 left in second quarter
Chiefs facing a third and four from the Arizona 28. The Cardinals’ tackling, which had been good most of the game, has struggled a bit here.
Nevertheless, Kareem Martin and Markus Golden have been able to get some solid pressure on KC QB Chase Daniel, and that’s nice to see.
10:54 left in second quarter
Thomas looked pretty good in his drive, showing decent poise and accuracy on some throws. The offensive line, however, wasn’t great — and tight end Ifeanyi Momah got beat bad on one block.
Zastudil’s 40-yard punt leaves the Chiefs on their 25.
14:50 left in second quarter
Chiefs make a field goal, and J.J. Nelson returns the ensuing kickoff to the 17. Logan Thomas in at QB for Arizona.
End of first quarter
The first frame ends on an excellent Bethel tackle, causing the Chiefs to lose a yard.
First quarter highlights:
Palmer was 4-4 for 77 yards.
Mathieu had an interception.
Bethel was in good position on throws that came near him and tackled well.
:21 left in first quarter
How did we add more time to the clock? Well, the refs ruled in Arizona’s favor and overturned the original call. It’s third and five from the Arizona 29.
:01 left in first quarter
The Cardinals are challenging a ruling of a completed catch for the Chiefs. If the call stands, it will be first and 10 KC at the Arizona 19.
Oh, and Humphries ran back to the sideline. Announcement is a right finger injury, with his return being listed as questionable.
3:14 left in first quarter
Cardinals pick up a first down with Kerwynn Williams doing some good work, but the drive ultimately stalls. Dave Zastudil, in a competition for the punter job, gets a 36-yarder off. Not good.
Also not good, D.J. Humphries just walked off the field to head to the locker room.
5:52 left in first quarter
Chiefs put together a solid drive but it ends after Arizona corner Jimmy Legree makes a nice play to knock down a pass. Brittan Golden fair catches the punt at the seven, which is where Stanton and the offense will begin the drive.
So far, so good for a Cardinals team that has Super Bowl aspirations. And while not terribly important, it would be nice to see Stanton get into some sort of rhythm here.
8:23 left in first quarter
The drive went nowhere from there, with a couple of Stanton passes landing on the turf. Not his finest series. Catanzaro comes on and makes a 33-yard field goal, and the Cardinals are up 10-0.
9:15 left in first quarter
Cardinals defense plays well, with Justin Bethel running alongside Jeremy Maclin on one deep ball and the run defense holding strong. On 3rd down, Alex Smith got pressure from Deone Bucannon and threw a ball up for grabs, one that Tyrann Mathieu picked off. Stop me if you’ve heard that before: Tyrann Mathieu had an interception.
After the return, the Cardinals took over at the Kansas City 18. Kerwynn Williams in at RB, Drew Stanton in at QB.
11:32 left in first quarter
Well that couldn’t have gone much better. Palmer leads the Cardinals down the field on a 7-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a two-yard Andre Ellington TD run. The big play of the series was a 57-yard pass that Palmer threaded into Ellington. Arizona’s passing game looked simple and good.
Oh, and Chandler Catanzaro was successful on the extra-long PAT attempt. 7-0 Cardinals.
15:00 left in first quarter
Kickoff is a touchback. Palmer back on the field, which is a sight for sore eyes. Cards open up with three wide — John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald — with Palmer out of the shutgun. First pass is a completion to John Brown, time to pull No. 3?
The Chiefs won the toss and elected to defer, meaning the Cardinals will get the ball first. Bruce Arians said Carson Palmer would see one series — no matter how many plays it lasts — so his stay in this game may be a short one. May.
6 minutes until kickoff
Well here we are, folks.
The Arizona Cardinals officially begin working through their 2015 schedule with the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The game has been announced as a sellout, though this is hardly a packed stadium. Guess that’s what happens when games don’t really count.
However, it is still the first chance to see the Cardinals face off against someone other than themselves, which means there are some things worth watching.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the tight ends fare as well as if the Cardinals can generate a bit of a pass rush.