The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Oakland Raiders in last weekend's preseason game in Glendale -- but wins and losses aren't exactly the point in exhibition play.
The Cards still have a number of kinks to work out in their final three preseason games before their regular-season opener at the Lions on Sept. 10 -- and their next opportunity to do so comes at home vs. the Chicago Bears at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The team's starters aren't expected to play more than 20 snaps, but that's still enough time to fine-tune certain things before allowing the reserves to prove themselves throughout the rest of the game. Here are three areas in which we'd like to see the Cards do better Saturday night.
1. The secondary
Second-year cornerback Brandon Williams has been inconsistent at best in his pass coverage. Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams, whom the Cardinals signed just a couple weeks ago, whiffed on a sure tackle last week. And rookie safety Budda Baker has earned the dubious nickname "fish bait" from coach Bruce Arians after consistently being fooled on pass plays disguised as run plays. It'd be reassuring to see improved play from all three men, as well as the secondary as a whole, on Saturday.
2. Wide receivers
Arians ripped the Cardinals' wide receiver corps earlier this week when he said only two are currently NFL-ready: Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown. Part of the problem is John Brown, who's still listed as a starter on the team's depth chart, has been slow to recover from a quad injury due to sickle cell trait that kept him sidelined throughout last season. But Arians has been disappointed overall with dropped passes and missed assignments throughout training camp. Can someone other than Fitz or Jaron step up vs. the Bears?
3. Offensive line
The Cardinals' offensive line looked pretty good on its one and only drive last Saturday, giving quarterback Carson Palmer and running back David Johnson room to operate on a game-opening touchdown drive. Still, this was an area of concern for Arizona last season thanks largely due to injuries. Left tackle D.J. Humphries, who missed last weekend's game with a hamstring injury, should return Saturday night. Here's hoping the starters look like a cohesive unit in limiting playing time vs. the Bears.