Week three for the Arizona Cardinals ended up with the same result as the previous two weeks: with a loss. Arizona managed to score some points this week and some exciting changes are taking place in the organization, so let’s take a look at our main takeaways for week three.
Bye, Bye Bradford
This loss wasn’t entirely on ol’ Sam Bradford. He started the game hot with two touchdowns in the first half, generating hope this team hasn’t had since the season started. From there, it went south in a hurry. Following two interceptions and a lost fumble, along with losing the lead and struggling to move the ball, Steve Wilks played the hand we all knew was coming. Down two points in the fourth quarter, first-round rookie quarterback Josh Rosen was put in the game. He didn’t pull off the comeback and threw an interception but the job belongs to him for the rest of the season.
What happened to Bradford? It looks like his last injury may be the one that finally saps his talent away. Last week he threw for under 100 yards. This week he only made it to 157. His accuracy isn’t as pinpoint as it used to be. He’s lost his touch on out routes and intermediate throws over linebackers. The offensive line has done him no favors, but with this much talent around him, it’s hard to wrap your head around. Unless Rosen goes down, this may be the last start we see for Sam in the desert.
David Johnson’s Drought
Steve Wilks seemingly has forgotten he has one of the best running backs in the league on his team in David Johnson. DJ only had 12 carries this game. He added a receiving touchdown and four catches but 16 touches isn’t nearly enough. This offense has looked out of whack for several reasons but not giving your best player the workload he deserves isn’t helping matters. Give David Johnson the ball as much as possible and maybe you’ll average more than 130 passing yards a game. Maybe.
This unit played well again. Yes, they gave up 30+ points to the Rams but who doesn’t? Holding the Bears to 16 points should have resulted in a win. Budda Baker, Chandler Jones and Gerald Hodges deserve shout-outs for their performances. Particularly Baker, who led the team in tackles and tackles for loss and garnered half a sack on the day. If the other side of the ball comes together under Rosen, this team will steal some wins that no one expects them to.
The time has come. No one expected Sam Bradford to lay the stinkers he has the first three games but it comes with a bright side: Josh Rosen is the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. Temper your expectations. This offense is not good right now. The offensive line is just as bad as ever and the play-calling has been mind-boggling. A third-and-two late in the game and the Cardinals pitched the ball outside to Chase Edmonds with David Johnson on the bench? Sorry. That was frustrating.
We saw some flashes every time this kid has had a chance. He makes throws under pressure. He isn’t afraid of throwing down the middle. The 12-yard scramble for a first down late in the game showed more guts than a Cardinals quarterback has shown in years. I expect both Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk to see jumps in production. He may not set the league on fire immediately, but the future is here. Rosen joins Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen as now all of the Big Four rookies (sorry Lamar) are leading their teams.