The final score really doesn’t matter.
Sure, the Cardinals beat the Raiders 24-18 in the preseason opener Thursday night, but because it was just that — preseason — coming out with a win wasn’t the top objective.
No, the Cardinals wanted to execute their assignments and come away healthy and, save for Todd Heap’s sprained left thumb, did a pretty good job of accomplishing both tasks.
“As you would expect [there] were a lot of things we can work on,” Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “But for the most part, I was excited to see the number of different players make the plays that they did.
“I think there were a lot of positives to come out of the game.”
Whisenhunt could have been talking about the play of his QBs, who combined to go 18-30 for 290 yards and three touchdowns, the 110 yards his team gained on the ground or the fact that 10 different players caught a pass.
But, as we know, coaches don’t always care about stats in exhibition games. Whisenhunt and his staff wanted to see specific things out of different players, and that was a fairly mixed bag.
“It’s been a very hectic week-and-a-half that we’ve had these guys,” the coach said. “But I think, overall, just as an overall concept of what you’re looking at it wasn’t as bad as maybe I thought it would be or probably a lot of people.”
Whisenhunt said the team is “by no means a finished product,” and he’s got that right.
Still, there were enough positives to take away from Thursday night’s game to feel comfortable saying this team will be better than last year’s squad.
ArizonaSports.com’s Craig Grialou contributed to this report