Thursday Night Football: Cardinals vs. Titans Preview
Two teams that had quarterback battles going into the preseason will square off tonight in Primetime, as the Arizona Cardinals will travel to Nashville and face the Tennessee Titans on ESPN at 8:00pm est. Each team has one preseason game left after tonight’s game to prepare for the regular season.
Jake Locker was named the starting quarterback for the Titans earlier this week, after beating out long time veteran Matt Hasselbeck.
Meanwhile the Cardinals have yet to name their starting quarterback for Week 1, and who can blame them, neither John Skelton or Kevin Kolb have been impressive during their first three preseason games.
Let’s take a look at five things to watch for in tonight’s match-up:
1. Is it John Skelton’s job to lose?
It was reported earlier today that Skelton has the inside track at being named the starter come Week 1, but there should be no rush to name the starter at this point. He has been named the starter for tonight’s game and is expected to play into the second half, so unless he stinks up the joint, it should be his job to lose.
Kevin Kolb got the big free agent contract last offseason but was often injured and very inconsistent. Kolb might be the better quarterback, but the Cardinals did have a better record last season when Skelton was under center.
2. It’s Jake Locker’s team now
We will all get to see if Jake Locker is capable of being the guy in Tennessee this season, and it starts tonight. Yes I know it’s just preseason and the defenses play a very vanilla scheme, but it’s still an opportunity that the big quarterback needs to take advantage of.
The Titans are reportedly building the playbook around the strengths of Locker, so expect to see plenty of rollouts, bootlegs and plenty of deep passes down the field to showoff his impressive arm-strength.
3. Chris “Beanie” Wells vs. Ryan Williams
Beanie Wells (knee) is expected to play tonight for the first time this preseason, while it is unknown how much work he’ll get, look for Arizona to ease him back with about 5-8 carries.
Ryan Williams had a good first impression last week after coming back from his own knee injury last season, he rushed for 25 yards on only 5 carries. He will look to build on that momentum tonight with more touches.
If it wasn’t for the quarterback battle in Arizona, this would be the most talked about battle in the preseason. Williams has been a hot commodity for fantasy players, and I think Williams will ultimately take over the job, but it might not be in time for Week 1.
4. Chris Johnson looks like the old Chris Johnson
Every time I read something about the Tennessee Titans this season, all I’ve read is how good Chris Johnson has looked, and he proved that in their last preseason game. Johnson rushed 10 time for 46 yards with two touchdowns against the Buccaneers, and showed the burst he had two seasons ago. While their offensive line has been shaky at best, CJ2K should be inline for a great season.
5. The Titans wide receivers
With Kenny Britt (knee surgeries) still on the shelf, and facing a possible suspension, the spotlight for the number two receiver behind Nate Washington could be decided tonight. Rookie Kendall Wright has been the guy that stands out among the rest of the receivers, and he shined last week with 3 catches for 47 yards. Look for Wright to solidify the No. 2 WR position after tonight.
Game Prediction: Tennessee 24, Arizona 20