A lot of uncertainty surrounded what is usually the dress rehearsal for the NFL regular season. Following Thursday's 32-27 loss against the Tennessee Titans, here are the winners and losers for the Arizona Cardinals. My last thought may surprise you.
Alfonso Smith would appear to be the odd man out with the play of William Powell Thursday.
While he has yet to do it against the first-team defenses, Powell is showing that he can be an effective cut-back runner. He has also displayed good vision.
Given the fact that Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells are both coming off of injuries, Powell could provide solid depth and also back up LaRod Stephens-Howling on kick returns.
If Powell doesn't make this team somehow, you can bet he'll be signed on a roster somewhere.
While D.J. Young may have a future in this league, it doesn't appear as if the future is now.
Young struggled mightily in pass protection, getting beaten off the edge often. Hopefully he can learn quickly from Thursday's game given the lack of depth at the tackle position. Otherwise, he simply doesn't look ready to start.
While we're all still trying to figure out who's one and two, I think it's safe to assume who No. 3 is on the Cards' quarterback depth chart.
Ryan Lindley has looked impressive in the preseason, and it would be wise for the coaching staff to keep this kid on the roster and develop him behind Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
Who knows what conversation we'll be having this time next year if neither Kolb nor Skelton impress this season. While I like Richard Bartel, he's looking like the odd man out at quarterback.
I would be shocked beyond belief if William Powell was not on the 53-man roster after final cut-down day.
Powell finished Thursday with 71 yards rushing on seven carries and a touchdown, capping a very impressive preseason and making him the favorite to back up Williams and Wells in the backfield.
D'Anthony Batiste seemed to help settle the Cardinals offensive line down a little bit and performed better than D.J. Young, possibly earning him the starting left tackle spot.
The Cardinals can obviously use all the stability there that they can get.
Bobbie Massie had what was perhaps his best outing as a pro Thursday.
While he made a few rookie mistakes, Massie showed enough improvement for me to think he can develop into a solid starter on that right side for the offense this season.
That's right, I said it. To be completely honest, I'm somewhat questioning by endorsement of John Skelton.
While I understand that Kevin Kolb made two boneheaded throws that went the other way, he also showed flashes of the guy the Cardinals thought they were getting when they traded for him before the beginning of last year.
To put it simply, when Kolb's on, he's on.
In the meantime, Skelton did little to lock down the starting job, which he had every opportunity to do. He also made an awful throw that turned into an interception.
Considering the fact that the coaching staff is looking for every reason to start Kolb, his play on Thursday may have made him the front-runner.
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