NFL Preseason: Five Things To Watch For From The Cardinals Against The Chiefs

It's probably safe to say that for most fans, the Cardinals first preseason loss against the Saints didn't feel nearly as close at the 17-10 score suggests.

Arizona was outmatched both offensively and defensively and besides solid 14-play, 90 yard drive from John Skelton in the first half, there wasn't a lot to write home about.

Then again, perhaps we can just count that one as a freebie since the Cardinals were spotted an extra preseason game this year by the NFL. So with that in mind, here's what fans can look for in the second exhibition game against the Chiefs to give them more hope:

1) Getting In The Offense Rhythm Faster - As I touched on in my analysis last week of the quarterback play, the Cards' offense barely gave Kevin Kolb a fighting chance in the early going. The entire unit looked baffled by the schemes the Saints were sending at them and never truly got in sync until Kolb had already been injured. While this is common for a lot of teams to experience when defense get creative in the preseason, it still might be a worrisome sign if the hangover continues into the second game (especially since they've been practicing with the Chiefs all week).

2) Growth From The Right Side Of The Offensive Line - Both Jeremy Bridges and Bobby Massie failed to impress anyone in the first go around with the Saints. From what I could see, neither looked able to hold their own in one-on-one situations which is a huge concern considering RG Adam Snyder is a slightly below average talent at best. It will be key in this one that someone steps up to solidify some semblance of protection. My money is on the veteran Bridges.

3) Who Clicks With Fitz Best - For me, this has always been the number one determining factor of who will get the starting quarterback job in Arizona. History has shown that person has been Skelton in the past but that could easily change if Kolb can stay in the game long enough to form some trust. With the lack of a solid run game due to Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams being beat up, the Chiefs should be putting even more emphasis on keeping the ball out of Larry Fitzgerald's hands, so it will be interesting to see if either quarterback will be able to force feed him.

4) Strides In The Tackling Department - While the Cardinals' defense showed flashes this past Sunday of their potential, there were still far too many plays that should have been made that they left on the field. Some of that was to be expected with Arizona having a very limited amount of time in pads but positioning also played a big part of some of those missed tackles. The return of playmakers Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki should be an excellent test of their fundamentals with a little more practice under their belt.

5) Can Stewart Bradley Continue To Improve?: It's been no secret that Bradley hasn't been worth the five-year, $25 million dollar contract he was handed by the Cardinals two offseasons ago and that's why he was asked to take a pay cut only one year in. But with as harsh as the Birdgang has been on Bradley, it was nice to see him have a solid first game after taking advantage of his early playing time once Paris Lenon left with his ankle injury. If he can build on his six tackle, one sack performance and continue to show signs of life, the starting job next to Daryl Washington could be all his.

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