He had the same type of game in last season's preseason opener as a rookie, completing 11 of 12 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. His outing Saturday -- 9-for-15 for 107 yards with an interception -- gave hope once again that Thomas could end up being a solid NFL quarterback.
All the struggles Thomas has been dealing with throughout training camp -- accuracy and footwork, mainly -- didn't plague him when the lights came on at University of Phoenix Stadium. He was calm under center, he hit receivers in the numbers and, maybe most importantly, he made good decisions. On second-and-14 in the second quarter, Thomas realized the play wasn't materializing and threw the pass away.
"He stood in the pocket and threw the ball extremely well," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
"I thought he played solid."
After showing off improved accuracy, Thomas gave a glimpse of what he's capable of doing with his feet. He took off for a 15-yard gain on a third-and-11 play late in the third quarter, adding a dimension to the Cardinals' offense that neither Carson Palmer nor Drew Stanton can bring.
But Thomas was by no means perfect. He had to deal with assignment mishaps and protection issues. He started his final drive of the second quarter by completing his first three attempts before missing receivers Brittan Golden and J.J. Nelson on consecutive plays. In the third, Thomas fired a pass to Jaron Brown but it bounced off his chest and was picked off by the Chiefs.
Thomas drove Arizona down the field late in the third quarter from its 11 to the Chiefs' 4. A touchdown pass to Golden was overturned, Thomas then hit Ryan Spadola on the next play but he couldn't score.
Not scoring there was the one piece that was missing from Thomas' game.
"Just (a) couple little things that kept me from having a really, really good game," Thomas said. "Like coach said, a couple protection breakdowns and the couple wrong reads but other than that I felt confident and I felt comfortable, and I was putting the ball where I wanted to."
Compared to how Thomas had been playing in training camp, Saturday night gave the Cardinals the kind of hope they need with him.
If Thomas is a gamer -- showing up on Sundays -- he'll have a future with the Cardinals.