The Arizona Cardinals dropped their preseason record to 1-2 last night with a 19-13 setback to the Cincinnati Bengals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The game was featured on Sunday Night Football on NBC-TV.
Here are some observations:
**The starters on both teams played the first half with Cincinnati owning a 13-3 lead at halftime. Arizona's offensive line looks much better than last year but quarterback Carson Palmer had accuracy issues.
The veteran signal-caller completed just seven of 19 for 92 yards and an interception that was returned 54 yards for a touchdown by Terence Newman. Palmer tried to find Larry Fitzgerald (three receptions for 71 yards) but it appeared Palmer thought Fitzgerald was going to cut inside on his route but Fitzgerald stayed to the outside.
He also missed a wide open Michael Floyd on a post pattern in the first quarter.
The first team offense looked out of synch. In fact, they looked like the early 2013 Cardinals version last night.
''We had a number of things that were just off,'' Palmer told yahoosports.com, ''from overthrows to missed opportunities, some funky things that happened on a couple of routes and some drops.''
**Backup QB Drew Stanton started the second half and looked good against Cincinnati's reserves. He finished 10-of-13 for 108 yards, including a 30-yard TD pass to rookie wide receiver John Brown. Brown, a third round draft pick year, has had a solid preseason so far and made a beautiful diving catch for the score (pictured below).
**The Red Birds played without linebacker Kevin Minter (pectoral muscle) and guard Jonathan Cooper (toe).
**The kicking battle wages on between veteran Jay Feely and rookie Chandler Catanzaro. Feely connected on a 24-yard field goal but missed a 48-yard attempt. Catanzaro made his lone try, a short 23-yarder.
It looks like it will come down to the final preseason contest, this Thursday against San Diego, to see who Arizona's kicker will be for 2014.
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