Cardinals insider Bob McManaman offers a recap and a run down from the Cardinals’ 20-15 preseason victory over the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:

The Cardinals’ defense means business

With four turnovers in each of their first two preseason games, the Cardinals are well on their way to creating an undeniable identity for making splash plays and reaching their goal of leading the league in takeaways. They had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries and easily could have had more if the Saints hadn’t hopped on a couple of loose balls. Things should get even scarier for opposing offenses once the team gets back some of its injured players, namely linebackers Deone Bucannon and Josh Bynes. “We can do it, man,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “We’re opportunistic and we can get our hands on some balls.”

GAME RECAP: Cardinals’ starters impress in preseason win over Saints

Rosen quieted some of his critics

After a nondescript preseason debut a week ago, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen got a real chance to show his abilities in the win at New Orleans. Yes, there were some missteps, like maybe holding on to the ball a tad too long on occasion, but the majority of his passes were right on target. He also showed a nice degree of awareness in the pocket by moving a little here and there in certain situations to buy some time for himself and his receivers. His touchdown pass to fellow rookie Christian Kirk was a perfect example of that, and he threw it in the only spot where Kirk could make the play.

OBSERVATIONS: Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk shine; Run defense a dud

Showing some separation

Coach Steve Wilks has been waiting for someone among his wide receivers not named Larry Fitzgerald to step up and make a difference. He got what he wanted in this game as rookie Christian Kirk (four receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown) and second-year pro Chad Williams (three catches, 44 yards) each made nice contributions with Brice Butler (foot) out of the lineup. Asked if he felt he saw some separation by Kirk and Williams, Wilks said, “I definitely did. Those guys did a great job.” The real test will come Sunday night in Dallas when the starters are expected to play into the third quarter.

Is it time to move on from Nkemdiche?

Of course not. Third-year defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche was named one of the team’s captains for Friday night’s game by Wilks, but he apparently re-aggravated a right foot injury early in the game and was kept out the rest of the night for precautionary reasons. It’s still too early to call the former first-round draft pick a bust. He’s earned a role in the starting lineup, so it’s only fair to let him show what he can do in the regular season before pulling the rug from underneath him. If he can’t handle the role once he’s healthy, the Cardinals are in good hands at defensive tackle with Olsen Pierre, who had another sack and added another fumble recovery.

About those false starts

Part of the problem with the Cardinals’ four false starts had to do with the crowd noise at the Superdome. But if you noticed right guard Justin Pugh often turning around to look at the quarterback just before the ball was snapped, it was because the team was trying to check in and out of using the silent snap count by using the top tap. There were times when Rosen was in the game, for example, that the Cardinals weren’t in silent cadence and realized they needed to switch to it. “We were just trying to get on the same page,” Pugh said, adding of Rosen, “He’s a young guy. He’s got a lot of things going through his mind so I was just trying to keep his awareness on the clock.”