GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals' offense looked downright scary in its first preseason action. But remember, it's just the preseason and it was the Houston Texans, who also looked downright scary but for other reasons.
No, that's not going on my list.
Here are five things we learned from Arizona's 32-0 win Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium:
This year's defense may be better than last year's. For months, we looked at the roster, poured over the depth charts and watched practice, and determined that the talent was there. But the question about whether that talent on paper would translate on the field still lingered. That question was answered Saturday. Arizona allowed 30 yards in the first quarter, 19 of which came when the starting defensive line was already in sneakers. Arizona snagged two interceptions, the first by starting cornerback Antonio Cromartie and the second by backup linebacker Marcus Bernard. "Marcus had a really great catch. He can't catch a cold," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "He made a heck of a catch." The Cardinals' defensive depth was equally as impressive, especially when linebacker JoJo Dickson records a sack in the final minutes of the game.
Carson Palmer doesn't sweat when he barely plays. Before Palmer began his postgame press conference, he was jokingly asked about taking a quick shower. "I didn't sweat," Palmer quipped back. He really didn't. Palmer was the epitome of efficient in his first and only drive, completing all five of his attempts for 84 yards and a touchdown. As he prefers, Palmer got hit -- actually, he got rocked by J.J. Watt, who shed an attempted block by left guard Jonathan Cooper and had an unimpeded path to Palmer. "Well, I guess he got his wish."
Cooper looked as you'd expect a man who hasn't played in a football game in nearly a year would look. He let up that sack and didn't look strong the rest of the first half, which he played the entire duration. He and center Ted Larsen were the only two starters to finish the first 30 minutes. Late in the first quarter, Cooper was rolled up on by running back Stepfan Taylor and got up gingerly. He hit the ground quickly on the next play but was able to stay in the game.
He may be knocked because he's small, but linebacker Kenny Demens showed he can hit Saturday. He laid out two solid hits during Arizona's kick returns. "Kenny looked outstanding," Arians said.
Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro has nerves of steel, or at least he kicks that way. He made all three of his field-goal attempts, from 32, 28 and 25, and all three of his extra points. His kickoffs, however, caught the attention of Arians. "His kickoffs were outstanding. He had three behind the 15-yard-line, when they were bringing them out. He was perfect and I liked his demeanor."