The Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans face off in Week 3 of the 2012 NFL preseason in the Thursday night ESPN televised game. Here is a look at what you can expect as Arizona hits the road in this important preseason matchup.
Chris Johnson exploded in Week 2 of the NFL preseason and gave coaches and fans a reason to smile for the first time in two years. Johnson is coming off his worst season as a pro, getting a new contract and then underperforming the entire year. A second solid performance could go a long way in helping Tennessee relax about the questionable heart of their running back.
Jake Locker won the starting quarterback job after only two NFL preseason games, beating Matt Hasselbeck for the role despite the veteran helping Tennessee win more games in 2011 than anyone expected. Hasselbeck has said all the right things but is Locker ready for this job? He'll get close to three quarters of playing time against the Cardinals to prove his worth.
The Cardinals come into the game with a heated quarterback competition raging. Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are fighting for that job and Skelton appears to have moved into the lead. Kolb is the million dollar man, but has never proved he was up for the job. Skelton is the late draft choice who has outperformed his original ranking. This game will go a long way into determining who will start under center when the season kicks off.
Another competition comes between running backs Beanie Wells and second year player Ryan Williams. Wells won the job in 2011 by default when Williams tore his knee up, Wells running for his first 1,000-yard season. Williams is back healthy and hopes to overtake the injury-prone Wells, while proving that his own knee injury was a one-time deal.
Neither of those position battles will be pretty if the Cardinals don't get their offensive line in order. With Levi Brown out for the season with a torn triceps, the team is panicking at the offensive tackle position and has to find a way to solidify a very shaky unit.
Arizona comes into the game with wide receivers Andre Roberts (neck) and Early Doucet (back) as well as tight end Todd Heap listed as questionable, which hurts the quarterback competition, taking out three of their veteran receivers.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt is still out for the Titans and awaits the decision on whether he will face an NFL suspension for his off-field problems. It's time for Tennessee to figure out what to do with their troubled receiver.
Where to See the Game
The Cardinals vs. Titans game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.