I really don't know what else to say but wow. I found a live feed on the interent at my girl's house, and watched the first half of the Cards game. I don't even know where to begin! Haha
Offense- They look great. Rodgers on a 34 yard scamper haha? Is it just me or does he look MUCH more mobile? He looks a lot better then last year. He is more patient, he is keeping plays alive, and he made some great audibles resulting in positive plays for the offense. He really can do it all, and I think this year is going to catapult him up into that elite class with Brady, Manning, and Brees. All the WRs look great. Driver is his usual self doing it all. Jennings one play out there was a great one. Nelson with a few catches, and a TD. Jones looking like his old self. I don't know if anyone on the team has better hands then him. How about Finley? This guy is a stud. 1 on 1 with Rodgers-Cromartie, and comes up with the TD. All the RBs looked great. Grant looked really good to me. He ran hard and always seemed to fall forward for 2-3 yards after being hit. I love how Rodgers is scrambling around keeping plays alive. The o-line looks much bigger, and is actually moving defensive fronts backwards on running plays (never saw that last year). The TEs also did a great job of blocking as well. The offense really looks like they can do it all. I know it's preseason but I heard the announcers say the Cardinals 1st string defense had not given up a point in their previous two games. We sure as hell ended that tonight.
Defense- This is what really got me most excited. I wanted to see how our defense would do against Warner, Fitz, and Boldin. I wasn't sure how we would do to be perfectly honest, but boy did the defense far surpass my expectations. We caused 3 TOs in the 1st half, against arguably the best offense in the league. I love what Capers has done to the defense. It's so uptempo, agressive, and unpredicatable. There always seems to be 7-8 guys up by the LOS, and you never know whose coming and whose not. I saw us in the 3-4, 4-3, 4-2-5, and 1-5-5. This is exactly what we need because each one plays to certain players strengths. Honestly, Warner didn't know how to handle the pressure, and looked really confused when we came out in the 1-5-5. (He ended up getting sacked and fumbled. Williams picked it up but did not establish possession, as he only had 1 foot in bounds.)
The players that really stood out to me in the new system were Woodson, Jenkins, Jolly, Hawk, Chillar, Kampman, Collins, and A. Smith. Woodson forced two fumbles, recovering one himself, and was all over the field. Jenkins was getting in the backfield on almost every play. Jolly got great penetration as well, and made a great tackle to save what probably would have been a first down on a dump off to Hightower. Hawk looked really good against the run. Chillar is probably who surprised me the most. He is a great blitzer, and was good against the run and pass. This new uptempo system really seems to fit his style, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him starting next to Barnett week 1. Kampman looked good dropping back into coverage, and brought some good pressure off the edge. He also looked great as a DE in the 4-2-5, as we would expect him too. Collins had some nice pass deflections, and seemed to have a lot of tackles. Smith is the SS we picked up from the Steelers this offseason, and he looked great. He laid the wood on a Cards receiver coming over the middle (causing him to drop the ball), and then had a INT, returning it to the Cards 10. Which resulted in a Rodgers TD pass. I think he might be able too challenge Bigby for the starting job. I love how aggressive Capers is in his play calling, and with the ballhawkers we got in the secondary, I am expecting us to have a lot of takeaways this season.
There really weren't too many negatives but I did notice a few. Crosby missed what I thought would be a little chip shot for him. I'm not sure how far away it exactly was, but it was no more the 40 yards. Looked like Ruvell Martin (yes you read right) didn't get the ball down great for him though. Which made me wonder, why in the hell is Ruvell Martin the holder haha?? The defense gives up the big play every once in a while because sometimes the blitzes get picked up, but I think the big plays we create from our pressure will favor us more so then the opposition.
All and all, I'm really excited. The fact that our defense looked this good against the Cards high powered offense really seems promising too me. The combination of getting all of our defensive players back healthy, and our new defensive system has so far proved to be crucial for us. I can't wait to see how the regular season turns out for us this coming year.
P.S.- Sorry this post is so long, and enthusiastic, but I was more then pleased with what I saw tonight.