With The Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens, many concerns about the secondary are now taking a really solid form.
The Arizona Cardinals lost their second preseason game to the Baltimore Ravens, in a final score of 24-17. The game, which had gotten out of hand, saw the Cardinals mount an impressive comeback behind the play calling of Kyler Murray. This was one of the game’s most noteworthy story lines. As for the rest of it, good news comes a bit sparingly. A recent team transaction is also worth some attention.
The Cardinals will have a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans tomorrow before their final preseason game on Saturday. The two teams were originally scheduled to have two joint practices, but it appears that the Titans are dealing with a degree of injury on their team to the point where the two teams’ head coaches decided to go ahead with just one of the scheduled two practices.
Zaven Collins / Secondary
After the Ravens game, it’s become strikingly apparent that the Cardinals secondary has earned every bit of the worry that’s been dedicated to it. Zaven Collins continued to struggle in the game at linebacker after a disappointing performance in the first preseason game. In addition, the team’s secondary didn’t look much better for most of the game. It wasn’t until an interception later in the game by Chandler Wooten, a linebacker, that much of the defense showed any life whatsoever.
Collins had just one tackle in his time on the field and was part of a secondary that looked woefully confused yet again. The Ravens’ second unit was able to easily carve up the defensive players sent out for the Cardinals for most of the first half. Collins’s continued disappointment is beginning to have a real ominous feeling attached to it. The Cardinals, after recently demoting one cornerback, the team can’t afford another player to not fulfill their potential on the defensive first unit. It goes without saying yet again, but Collins needs to be better. He knows this better than anyone.
The Cardinals running backs, who had looked so good in the first preseason game, got very few opportunities to show out in the second game. Eno Benjamin, Jonathan Ward, Keaontay Ingram, and Darrel Williams were given four, three, four, and one carries respectively. What’s most disappointing about this is that it didn’t give any of them the opportunity to continue making their case to be James Conner’s number two back.
The same thing can’t be said about the Cardinals wide receivers. When Trace McSorley wasn’t throwing interceptions, he spread the ball out pretty well. Victor Bolden Jr., Andy Isabella, and Greg Dortch each hauled in a share of passes averaging over ten yards per reception. Trey McBride, on the other hand, had a disappointing debut for the team, which isn’t something that should be all that surprising to anyone.
There’s no question that the Cardinals receiving core is going to be one of the strengths of this team, particularly when considering the addition of Marquise Brown, and the arrival of DeAndre Hopkins after he finishes serving his six-game suspension. Kyler Murray will have a field day with all these superior athletes on the field. The offense figures to be a much stronger asset than the defense at this point.
Though Jonathan Ward didn’t get much of an opportunity to run the ball, he was given the opportunity to return kicks, and did quite well with that. In three returns, he was able to compile 90 return yards. This positive special teams note takes place on a split screen in which Matt Prater missed another field goal. The usually reliable Prater has been someone you cross your fingers in anticipation for so far this preseason.
Cody Ford Acquisition
In other recent news, the Cardinals have acquired offensive lineman Cody Ford from the Buffalo Bills for a 2023 fifth-round draft pick. He was a teammate of Kyler Murray’s in college, and figures to be factor into the team’s plans to strengthen the offensive line and make it more durable throughout the long haul of the season. It isn’t clear that he’ll be able to make his way into the starting lineup, but he figures to be a solid backup should something go awry with the starting interior linemen.