Arizona Cardinals show physicality; attention to detail needs work in win over Los Angeles Chargers

0

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen completes his first pass against the L.A. Chargers in the first half during a preseason NFL football game on Aug. 11, 2018 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Steve Wilks has hammered the importance of details and physicality since he took charge of the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, and it’s clear from the first preseason game that the message is getting through.

Sometimes.

There were plenty of miscues in Arizona’s 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.

There were 11 penalties for 110 yards. Greg Little and J.J. Nelson dropped passes. And the offense was stagnant behind a second-unit line that didn’t protect well.

There were plenty of missed opportunities, too.

Antoine Bethea whiffed on a safety blitz in the first quarter. Christian Kirk tripped and fell with a chance to score on his first touch as a pro. And Bene Benwikere couldn’t make a play on what would have been a sure pick-six just before halftime.

So, the details need some work.

NFL’s new helmet rule causes confusion, outrage during Cardinals game

But there were plenty of moments where Wilks could see his players embrace the aggressive, bruising style he wants them to play.

The defense forced four turnovers, three fumbles and an interception, and had five tackles for loss, including four sacks.

Olsen Pierre was particularly disruptive in the second quarter with a fumble recovery and a sack for a 7-yard loss.  

And early in the third quarter, backup corner Benwikere forced a fumble, which reserve linebacker Jeremy Cash plucked off the grass and returned for a touchdown.

There was evidence of physical play on offense, as well. 

In the first quarter, near the goal line, the Cardinals went to a jumbo package where tackle John Wetzel checked in at tight end.

The first play from that formation, third and goal from the 2, Chase Edmonds was stuffed for no gain.

The Cardinals went for it on fourth down, and Edmonds was stopped several yards behind the line. He kept his legs pumping, however, and popped through for the game’s first score.

It’s the first preseason game, so it’s foolish to read too much into anything, but the Cardinals are learning to fly around and impose their will. The question from here will be whether they can get command of the little things enough to show improvement before they face New Orleans next week.

loading...
Share.

Leave A Reply