What it means: So much for being "light years ahead of 2013."
The Arizona Cardinals that took the field for "Monday Night Football" didn't look much different than the 2013 version. Even if they did utilize their newest weapons to pull out a come-from-behind win in the season opener. Before John Brown weaved in traffic for a 13-yard touchdown on a screen pass, the Cardinals looked too much like 2013 for coach Bruce Arians to sleep comfortably. Carson Palmer didn't progress through his reads. Larry Fitzgerald wasn't targeted until the fourth quarter. And options seemingly were ignored for long stretches. All told, it was a far cry from the offense that was expected and hyped by everyone on it.
Stock Watch: Safety Deone Bucannon proved why he was drafted. The first-round pick started at nickel back and played a significant role in Arizona's nickel and dime packages at linebacker next to Larry Foote. He finished with five tackles but impacted San Diego's inside running game and was used against tight end Antonio Gates.
Defense depleted more: The Cardinals were at their limit when it came to how many defensive players they could afford to lose. Already without defensive tackle Darnell Dockett because of injury, Karlos Dansby because of free agency and Daryl Washington because of a suspension, the Cardinals lost defensive tackle Frostee Rucker to a calf injury in the first quarter and John Abraham to a concussion in the third quarter. If Arizona was thin before Monday night's opener against San Diego, it's rice paper thin now. Arizona can't afford to be without Rucker or Abraham simply because of depth. Rucker's absence gave Tommy Kelly a chance to get reps and he played well against the run, finishing with two tackles. But Abraham's absence was felt more because it allowed San Diego's rushing attack to take the edge, something it couldn't do with him in there.
Game ball: He may be 34, but inside linebacker Larry Foote played like a man 10 years his junior. He finished with eight tackles and gave life to a position that was decimated by free agency and a suspension.
What's next: The Cardinals travel to New York to play the Giants at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.