Neither team in the upcoming Cardinals vs. Seahawks matchup have played up to expectations so far this season. The Cardinals enter the contest 0-3 while the Seahawks are 1-2. Seattle looks to be on the upswing after beating the Dallas Cowboys in week three, however the Cardinals are trying to reboot the whole system with a new quarterback. Here’s a look at what to watch for in this week four tilt.
Rosen’s First Start
After three games of misery under Sam Bradford, head coach Steve Wilks has finally decided to turn to the highly-touted rookie from UCLA. The Seahawks defense may not be what it once was but there’s still enough talent to challenge the rookie signal caller. This Cardinal offense has been one of the worst football fans have had to witness this season, so it won’t be a simple turnaround. Rosen has to utilize the talent around him in order to pull out a win.
Russell Wilson has carried this Seattle team on his back for a while now. Arizona’s defense has the talent to keep him contained but the offense has failed to match their counterparts all season. Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche have to make sure he doesn’t have all day to create space in the backfield while also limiting his ability to bounce outside. A dual-threat quarterback is never easy to defend and an MVP-caliber one is an even more difficult task.
Okay, not mathematically, however, the 4-0 Rams have yet to be sniffed by the competition. If Seattle falls to 1-3 there’s almost no hope for the rest of the division. Arizona has struggled to look like a professional team and the 49ers looked bad before losing their starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Anything can happen in an NFL season but the Cardinals are looking to put the Seahawks in a tough spot and the Rams are laughing all the way to the playoffs.
The Real David Johnson
It’s time. If the team doesn’t get DJ the ball more than 20 times someone needs to be fired. The ineptitude of Arizona’s play-calling is far past the point of forgiveness. This is the worst offensive line in the league, by an embarrassing amount, and if you don’t alleviate the pressure on Rosen by running the ball, you’re setting the rookie up for failure. There’s no excuse for the lack of touches for David Johnson this season and the coaching staff is becoming the laughingstock of the league because of it.
Saving Arizona’s Receivers
With the offensive line struggling and Bradford unable to resemble an NFL quarterback, the Cardinals’ offensive weapons haven’t even had a chance to shine. Larry Fitzgerald looked spry in week one and hasn’t done anything since. Christian Kirk came on strong last week. The rest of the group has had zero opportunity. Josh Rosen is a better passer than Sam Bradford, and he has more courage to trust his receivers. We’ll see the first shot at redemption this week.
Can Arizona Compete?
This is the crux of this game. If Arizona falls to 0-4, the fans’ worst fears will be all but confirmed: the wrong coach was hired, the wrong coordinators were hired and the team needs to be blown up and reconstructed. Normally this early into the season many would call that sensationalism but this team has been awful. No sugar coating the shutout loss in week two. Not many positives to take from last week’s implosion against a mediocre Bears unit. Larry Fitzgerald deserves more than this in the final stage of his career.