How did the Cardinals' starters do vs. the Bears? 3 big takeaways

How did the Cardinals' starters do vs. the Bears? 3 big takeaways
Posted at 8:19 PM, Aug 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 07:58:38-04

The Arizona Cardinals' starters had an all-around impressive night against the Oakland Raiders last weekend.

This weekend? Not so much.

Here are three takeaways from the Cards' first-stringers in their preseason matchup vs. the Chicago Bears at University of Phoenix Stadium.

1. Let's start with the good...

The Cardinals' first-teamers were having a crummy night until the Honey Badger came through with a big play.

In the second quarter, the Bears led 3-0 and were threatening to score a touchdown until Tyrann Mathieu picked off Bears quarterback Mike Glennon near the goal line. Mathieu's subsequent 52-yard return set up a Cardinals touchdown drive that concluded with a touchdown pass from quarterback Carson Palmer to tight end Jermaine Gresham on fourth and goal.

Mathieu also made a pair of nice open-field tackles. It can't be overstated just how important a healthy Badger will be to the Cardinals' success this season.

2. Cards' offensive line struggles.

The return of left tackle D.J. Humphries, who missed last weekend's game with a hamstring injury, didn't do much to help the overall performance of the Cardinals' offensive line Saturday. Running back David Johnson had very little room to operate, managing just three yards on as many carries before exiting, and Palmer was hit far more often than the Cardinals would prefer during a preseason game.

The Cards' O-line struggled throughout last season, largely due to injuries to multiple starters. Now healthy, the guys up front are going to have to do better by the time the regular season rolls around.

3. Bears carve up Cards on the ground.

The Cards' first-team defense looked silly Saturday night against Bears third-string rookie running back Tarik Cohen. The 5-foot-6, 181-pounder ran all over the Cardinals for 77 yards on 11 first-half carries.

The Bears outgained the Cardinals by an absurd 75-4 margin in the first quarter, all against Arizona's first-team talent. So, yeah, there's a good chance this will be a point of emphasis for the coaching staff as the Cardinals enter their final week of training camp.