Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals Beat Houston Texans: Offensive Grades

It was the perfect start for the Arizona Cardinals. Everything they have been saying in the off season about their new team was admittedly true. The Arizona offense players kept saying they were a lot more comfortable and knew their stuff. The defense promised they’d be good again even with the linebacker losses.

The Houston Texans offense failed to move the ball and their defense struggled to stop the Cardinals 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams. And with the final score at zero, they clearly need to go back to the drawing board offensively.

Carson Palmer fooled us all last night into thinking we were watching a midseason game, not a preseason one. In the team’s opening drive against the visiting Houston Texans, Palmer took the Cardinals down the field with relative ease, completing all five of his passes for 84 yards and a touchdown to Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald. On the drive, Palmer connected with five different receivers, including a 38-yard strike to Rob Housler and a 25-yard toss to John Brown. Palmer’s precision helped the Cardinals overcome two early offensive line mistakes

Palmer, entering his 12th NFL season and second with Arizona, had passes of 25 yards to Brown and 35 yards to Rob Housler, then capped his drive with a 7-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

After a sometimes-erratic first two weeks of training camp, the rookie fourth-round pick did not look like a quarterback making his NFL debut on Saturday against the Texans, completing 11-of-12 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Thomas’ biggest knock coming out of Virginia Tech was his accuracy, and it has shown at times in practice. However, his touch was impressive in the 32-0 win over the Texans, with only a lone deep ball hitting the turf.

Arizona was without wide receiver Michael Floyd (groin) and wide receiver-kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) so it was down to Larry Fitzgerald.

Offense Grade – A

Next Arizona Cardinals Game

Sat., Aug. 16
vs. Minnesota Vikings
@ 5:30 p.m

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