The Arizona Cardinals have not looked good at all during the first quarter of the season. The team has already made a quarterback change and has looked like they have lacked an identity. The only bright side for the Cardinals has been their defense. The defense ranks 18th in yards allowed per game and 11th in passing yards allowed. They have shown in a couple of games their ability to play elite football, but because of the Cardinals terrible offense, they have had to go back on the field with little rest. Arizona has been the worst offensive team this season. Sam Bradford at quarterback was a fail, David Johnson has not looked good and the biggest take away is that they are the only team in the NFL without a win.
Sam Bradford came over to the Cardinals during the off-season after playing for the Minnesota Vikings the past two seasons. He had decent years with the Vikings, but he still suffered from injury and he lacked big play ability. Bradford started the first three games of the season for the Cardinals. The Cardinals drafted Josh Rosen, who was one of the top rated quarterbacks this year, and it looked like they wanted to wait till he was ready. After Bradford’s terrible 0-3 start, that had the Cardinals ranked last in almost every offensive category. The coaching staff decided during the week three game, to change quarterbacks. Rosen was given his first chance against the Seattle Seahawks and unfortunately, came out with a close 17-20 loss. Rosen lead the offense down the field and gave kicker Phil Dawson a chance to take the lead, but he missed it. The Seahawks capitalized and scored a kick of their own. The quarterback problem for the Cardinals is looking better after the team benched Bradford, but the team still needs to figure out their other offensive problems.
Now David Johnson was not too long ago one of the best running backs in the NFL. After the 2016 season, he was on the All-Pro team and ranked 12th in the NFL’s top 100 players list. He is still a great play, but because of the offensive struggles he has not been able to play up to his ability. His best game so far has been with Rosen as the quarterback where he had 112 total yards. This was the first time he had over 100 total yards all season and he scored his second touchdown of the year. The offensive line and quarterback problem has been hard on all the Cardinals players, but hopefully with Rosen, Johnson’s can fix his problems. If he can return to his old ways, the team will benefit tremendously. For this to happen, they will have to keep giving him the ball like they did against Seattle.
The Cardinals are off to a horrible start. No one wants to start 0-4, and for the Cardinals this is weird territory for a team that has seen recent success, A lot happened for the Cardinals in the off-season. They had a coaching change, a quarterback change and a real change in culture for the team. The coaching has generated a lot of skepticism from fans and analysts because of the play calling that has happened during the season. Steve Wilks and his staff have shown little trust in their quarterbacks over the four games, and the play calling has been way to conservative in situations where they need to play aggressive. This has been a huge critique for the team and one that the team will address. If the offense works better under Rosen then the defense will look better too.
The Cardinals are off to the slowest start possible, and they need to make a change. Rosen is a good choice for change, and in his first start he looked decent. If he can make risky throws, I think he will be a better player. Rosen is a risky quarterback who has been able to make big plays on risky passes and has a great IQ for the game. If Rosen plays like himself then he will succeed. The Cardinals coaching staff needs to call plays better, and their offense as a whole needs to do better. After a quarter of the season, the biggest take away from Arizona is that they are under performing. If the first quarter of the season is a sign of how the rest of the season will go, then it won’t be pretty. I think the Cardinals will win three games this season, but they should win more with the talent they have on their roster. I hope they work out of this funk and get back to the style that fans have been in love with for the past five seasons.