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About That Preseason Win Streak, And Friday Before The Ravens

The longest preseason win streak the Cardinals have ever had dates back to the first nine preseason games the franchise played, back in 1946-47-48. The team won six straight preseason games in 1991-92. And they were undefeated with a 4-0 record in 2003.

Not that it matters. That's the first time in 23 years covering this team I ever thought to look up such a stat.

But the Baltimore Ravens visit State Farm Stadium on Sunday night -- nationally televised on Fox -- and carry into the game an astounding 21-game preseason winning streak, so maybe there is something riding on the outcome of the Trace McSorley-Tyler Huntley QB matchup. Or not. The winning streak is amazing ... or moot, since it's a bunch of games that do not count.

"That's part of their culture," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "They say we're going to win these games and help it build into the regular season. I respect that approach. Obviously, their team believes. They have one of the most successful franchises in the league. We'll get their best shot."

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown was a part of seven of those wins before being traded to the Cardinals this offseason. "They take it serious," Brown said, "and I'm pretty sure we take it serious here too." Quarterback Trace McSorley, who will start Sunday and who was with the Ravens for almost three seasons before the Cards plucked him from Baltimore's practice squad, said he hoped he could impart some of the mindset his teammates will see.

"You better be ready, because they're gonna bring it," McSorley said.

McSorley admitted it'd be "cool" if the Cardinals could end the streak. The Ravens last lost in their preseason finale in 2015, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh certainly isn't going to act like it doesn't matter.

"There's going to be people that are going to say this doesn't mean anything," Harbaugh said after the streak reached 19 in 2021. "There's going to be people that are going to look at it and say, 'Wow, that's something.' I'm of the belief that everything has meaning in life."

That's probably true. It does mean something. What that is, well, that remains a question.

"That's a new fact for me," tackle D.J. Humphries said, chuckling. "I don't watch much TV, so I miss a lot. I'm a big Netflix, Amazon Prime guy, so I miss a lot. I didn't know (the streak). That's pretty cool, man. ... You guys stumped me with that one. I don't even know how to feel about that one."

-- Kingsbury acknowledged Friday what had been expected: Antonio Hamilton, who has had a good camp, is the No. 2 cornerback. Marco Wilson has slipped. That is a position that will continue to be watched closely, against the Ravens, and next week in practices and a game against the Titans. Hamilton insisted the Cardinals didn't need to add anyone, but it still seems likely someone else will be added, either by trade or free agency.

-- No Kyler Murray. No Lamar Jackson. This is where we are in the preseason. The Cardinals want to get to the regular season healthy. They had a full padded practice Thursday -- the last full practice of camp -- and Kingsbury said a couple of guys got nicked up. We've already seen that. Forget Murray sitting a chunk of camp. Center Rodney Hudson (knee/rest) has only practiced twice. Linebacker Markus Golden (toe) hasn't practiced since Aug. 1. Tight end Zach Ertz has been out a while with a calf issue (and a new baby.)

This game will again be about the guys fighting for jobs. (And linebacker Zaven Collins and the non-Byron Murphy cornerbacks who remain in a position room with an unclear future.)

-- Final cuts -- and we still have some time, the Cardinals have to be down to 80 (another five) by Tuesday, and then 53 on Aug. 30 -- are going to be interesting. The great Craig Grialou and I were workshopping some numbers, and getting down to 56 or 57 is fairly easy, but from there? Again, it's the end of the roster, but there will inevitably be a couple of names on that final list that easily could have been on the team.

-- Where are those battles? The ones we keep talking about. The running backs -- it just doesn't seem possible that the Cards can keep five, especially when Kingsbury acknowledged they will likely have three QBs. The backside of the offensive line, with 11 or 12 candidates for nine or 10 spots. All the outside linebackers (although it would be good to know when Golden will return.)

-- This will be the game debut of the Cardinals' black alternate helmets, to be worn with their black alternate uniforms (the ones with the white lettering.)

-- The Cardinals have added a new video board in the north (closed) end zone ahead of the Super Bowl coming to State Farm Stadium at the end of the season. The new board covers 3,663 square feet, a 44 percent increase over the previous board.

-- Kingsbury said some players got nicked up at practice this week and they are short of bodies, so it probably isn't a surprise they brought back OL Greg Long on Friday, who they just released five days ago. They cut tight end Deon Yelder, so they obviously needed another offensive linemen to get some snaps against the Ravens.

See you Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) during the 2022 Arizona Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium on Thursday, August 18, 2022 in Glendale, AZ.

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