3 big takeaways from the Cardinals' final preseason game of 2017

3 big takeaways from the Cardinals' final preseason game of 2017
Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 00:55:29-04

The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Denver Broncos by a final score of 30-2 Thursday night.

And it absolutely, positively doesn't matter.

All that mattered in the final preseason game of 2017 was the performances of a handful of players who are doing their best to keep their jobs as the Cardinals prepare to trim their roster from 90 players to 53 before the regular season begins.

With that in mind, here are three big takeaways from Thursday's game in Denver.

1. Elijhaa looks good

24-year-old running back Elijhaa Penny didn't make the Cardinals' regular-season roster last year, but he might this year. After spending last season on the team's practice squad, the 6-foot-2, 234-pounder looked impressive as he got the bulk of the carries Thursday, rushing for 77 yards on 17 attempts.

2. Rudy Ford impresses, too

As noted in our game preview, safety and 2017 sixth-round pick Rudy Ford was likely battling for a roster spot with 2016 sixth-round pick Harlan Miller. Ford might have won that battle Thursday as he made some impressive tackles and led the team in total and solo tackles with seven and five, respectively.

3. Who won the punting battle?

The only Cardinals starting job up for grabs is at the punter position, and both men made their best case to win the job Thursday. Second-year Cardinal Matt Wile placed four punts inside the Broncos' 20-yard-line, while former CFL standout Richie Leone placed two punts inside the 20.

Leone has the stronger leg, but Wile has the NFL experience. We'll have to wait and see who the Cardinals keep -- or if they decide to take their chances on another punter altogether via free agency.