Today's Pigskin

19 August 2016: Arizona Cardinals Safety Marqui Christian (25) [21697] runs after a turnover which was overturned because the runner was down during an NFL preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
Arizona Cardinals

Surprising performers from Cardinals’ first two preseason games

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

The Arizona Cardinals are 0-2 in the 2016 preseason, but as we all know, that doesn’t mean much. The Cardinals dropped their first opener to the Oakland Raiders, but it didn’t feature much action for the starters.

In the second preseason game, which the Cardinals lost to the San Diego Chargers, the starters saw their playing time limited in a big way as well. With the two preseason games in the books, it’s time to take a deeper dive into which players have been the surprise performers heading into the final two games.

While it’s widely expected that the starters should see a large number of reps in the third preseason game, we may not hear all of these names below all that much this coming weekend.

Ifeanyi Momah, tight end

Honestly, Momah’s numbers aren’t amazing, but they were more than good enough to warrant giving him some love. A key reason for this is that the tight end from Boston College has been a consistent receiving threat in an offensive gameplan that really hasn’t featured a whole lot of airing it out.

The 6-foot-7 prospect caught three of four targets for 33 yards in the preseason opener. In his second game, he was only targeted twice, both catches, and wrapped up the day with 30 yards. In those two games, the leading receiver had 54 yards and 40 yards, respectively, so it’s obvious that Momah’s time on the field was productive.

Marqui Christian, safety

Christian has been getting a ton of praise through the offseason for the Cardinals, and the rookie fifth-round pick from Midwestern State is living up to the hype. It’s hard not to send praise his way because he’s been the leading tackler for the Cardinals in both of their first two preseason games.

In the opener against the Raiders, Christian totaled five combined tackles (all solo) and a quarterback hit. In the second game, he wound up with five combined tackles again (four solo) and a pass defended. This may be a player whose number gets called during not only the fourth and final preseason game, but also during the all-important third game as well.

Matthias Farley, safety

We’ll send some praise in the direction of another rookie safety, but this time, it was undrafted Matthias Farley from Notre Dame. While it may be tough for the team to keep both Christian and Farley, both of them have made a strong case to be kept. Farley is a player who totaled 192 combined tackles in college while intercepting eight passes as well.

Just like Christian, Farley’s name can be found at the top of the box score for both preseason games. He had four combined tackles (all solo) and a tackle for loss in the first game, then followed that up with five combined tackles (all solo once again) in the second game. He’ll be a name to watch over the final two games, but don’t be shocked if either he or Christian wind up making the 53-man roster.

Surprising performers from Cardinals’ first two preseason games

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