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Arizona Cardinals Host Cincinnati Bengals in NFL Preseason Action Tonight

August 24th, 2014 at 6:15 AM
By Steve Smith

The 1-1 Arizona Cardinals will host Andy Dalton (pictured below) and the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) tonight in NFL preseason action at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Expect the starters to play the entire first half and possibly a series or two in the second half. The third preseason contest is always the one most like a regular season game as both teams prep for the opening of the 2014 campaign just two weeks away.

The Red Birds closed the curtains on their training camp on Friday and, for the most part, it was a successful one. The players seem to be much more comfortable with head coach Bruce Arians' system in year two.

Quarterback Carson Palmer compared the end of training camp this year with that in 2013.

“There is no comparison," Palmer told the team's website. "You go form totally trying to learn a new offense and doing something wrong and getting screamed at and yelled at to now we are correcting each other and talking about things on the field. Even before we get to the meeting room we already know the alignment was a little off here, my read was a little off, we know those things as a group. I think that says more than anything.”

Speedy Andre Ellington should be the lead back this season and the Red Birds now have excellent depth at wide receiver with the additions of John Brown and Ted Ginn Jr.

The greater concerns are on the defensive side of the ball now that the Cardinals have lost Darnell Dockett for the season with a torn ACL. In addition, Karlos Dansby is now with Cleveland and Daryl Washington is suspended for the 2014 season.

Linebacker Kevin Minter will have to step up in his second NFL season and rookie Kareem Martin will have to aid the pass rush along the defensive line.

The Cards are hoping safety Tyrann Mathieu will be ready for the season opener on Sept. 8 against the Chargers. Once he returns, the Cardinals should have one of the premier secondaries in the league.

First cuts must be made by Tuesday.

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Tags: Andre Ellington, Andy Dalton, Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Carson Palmer, Football, John Brown, NFL, Ted Ginn Jr., Tyrann Mathieu

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