It was an embarrassing Sunday afternoon for the Arizona Cardinals, as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 44-21.
Patrick Mahomes was practically toying with their defense the entire outing. The Cardinals’ offense, which was supposed to keep them in the game, was not effective.
Not all was bad but not much was good.
Who were the Cardinals’ studs and duds in Week 1?
Greg Dortch emerged in training camp as a standout playmaker and was electric in the preseason.
With the hamstring injury to Rondale Moore, Dortch stepped in and played admirably. In fact, he led the Cardinals with seven receptions and 63 receiving yards.
Dortch proved he belongs with the starters. It would pay dividends to have his production increase with the injuries in the wide receiver room right now.
The former No. 8 overall pick was asked to play a lot of slot cornerback and safety yesterday due to the deficiencies at the cornerback position.
He did not perform well, getting lost guarding the likes of TE Travis Kelce and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. While those two are no slouches, particularly Kelce, the team would have liked to see better.
Perhaps some additions or players returning from injury at the cornerback position would help Simmons settle into a more defined role.
“I’m a lot better than what I put out there,” Simmons said postgame.
Marco Wilson lost the No. 2 cornerback battle to Antonio Hamilton in training camp, which was not encouraging for the second-year pro.
Wilson played outside corner almost every snap and was one of the few defenders who did a fine job in coverage. He had two passes defended yesterday and nearly picked off Mahomes in the endzone.
While seemingly every other defensive back was giving up plays, Wilson was not one of them. It was an encouraging start for him and the Cardinals could use that level of play moving forward.
There are high expectations for the 2021 No. 16 overall pick, but Sunday did not live up to them.
Collins did not have a poor outing in the run game, but his pass coverage wasn’t great. The Chiefs continuously picked apart the middle of the field and were never challenged in doing so.
While Collins didn’t make a game-losing error or end up on the wrong side of a highlight reel, a former No. 16 overall pick is supposed to make a big impact. He did not.
It also doesn’t help that former Cardinals inside linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Jordan Hicks are balling with their new teams.
Benjamin was a breath of fresh air when he got significant snaps in the second half. While most of the offense seemed deflated and defeated, Benjamin was breaking tackles and fighting for additional yards.
The Cardinals did not send out free agent acquisition Darrel Williams much at all yesterday, so perhaps Eno’s snaps are a sign of his positive development.
James Conner had his moments yesterday, but having a change-of-pace runner with explosiveness like Benjamin can only be helpful.