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Searching For Meaning, And Ravens Aftermath

Alas, the Cardinals couldn't topple the mighty preseason Ravens. The winning streak lives on, although it was an impressive rally down 21 when Kyler Murray started calling plays and the Cards scored their two touchdowns.

"He was fired up," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He was way more excited than he gets when he throws one. Don't know what that's about."

But really, what was learned from Sunday night's game wasn't very big picture. So many players aren't suiting up for the Cardinals, and some that did played one series or two at most. A lot of the guys on the field are likely fighting for potential practice squad spots. And there were things to notice. Andy Isabella played well, again. So did Greg Dortch (although you'd like to see Dortch let that punt bounce inside the 5 and see if it'll go in the end zone rather than fair catch it.) Rookie linebacker Chandler Wooten flashed.

But the tackling was awful too much of the night, and while the Cardinals definitely had times when they got pressure, the Ravens completed 23-of-27 passes and it's going to be tough to win games like that.

Trace McSorley didn't play as well as he did in Cincinnati, and while Kingsbury said there were some throws McSorley would like back, "he always gives you a chance," and that comment just drives home to me that McSorley will be the choice as the third QB. He doesn't have the arm of Jarrett Guarantano but he has athleticism and a connection with Kingsbury right now.

-- Rookie offensive lineman Marquis Hayes had a "minor" knee issue that kept him out the game, Kingsbury said. The Cardinals only dressed seven offensive lineman, and when Lecitus Smith left briefly in the fourth quarter (he came back in) the center was Greg Long. Long was cut early last week and then re-signed when the Cardinals had their injuries to Hayes and Danny Isadora, who was wearing a boot on his right foot. None of the starting offensive linemen dressed.

-- Running back Jonathan Ward left with a AC joint injury and Kingsbury said he didn't think it was serious. Safety Charles Washington also left with a chest injury.

-- Ward was playing really well before his injury. A couple of other guys who popped to me in brief appearances, linebackers Dennis Gardeck and Victor Dimukeje.

-- Wide receiver Victor Bolden had five catches for 66 yards on nine targets, but his inability to pull in a TD pass in the first half -- it was on a broken play and McSorley was under pressure, but Bolden was uncovered -- changed the complexion of the game.

-- Jontre Kirklin, practice squad candidate, made a nice 15-yard TD catch from Guarantano.

-- Kingsbury, after Matt Prater missed a 54-yard field goal, said he wasn't concerned about the veteran kicker. "He always finds his groove," Kingsbury said. "We know what he is." The miss was odd. Prater, kicking from the left hash mark, booted it fairly straight and then it sliced hard across the width of the posts to sail wide. Prater missed two extra points in Cincinnati, but he kicked well in practice last week.

-- Not a lot to say about this one. Props to the Ravens' streak. The Cards are off Monday, then they have a practice first thing Tuesday morning before boarding a plane to fly to Nashville.

That's all for tonight.

The Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022 in Glendale, AZ.

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