The Cardinals defense carried a lot of the load on the way to 10 wins last season, but their offense’s first showing of the preseason suggests they’d like to change things around this season.
Carson Palmer completed all five of his passes on the opening drive, piling up 84 yards and a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald that made a strong opening statement. Arizona got catches from tight end Rob Housler and wide receivers John and Jaron Brown (playing in place of Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn) on a drive that saw the Texans offer little resistance after an early sack by J.J. Watt.
That sack came after Watt beat guard Jonathan Cooper, whose play has been a disappointment to head coach Bruce Arians thus far. He didn’t do anything to help himself on that play, but he wasn’t noticeable for the rest of the drive as Arizona drove their way to a touchdown.
The defense did pretty well too, forcing a three and out on Houston’s first possession, to hand the ball back to a different looking offense. Palmer and the first-teamers other than Cooper were done after four good minutes.