The Arizona Cardinals faced off against the Denver Broncos in a game that should have just been forfeited at the start. Denver won the game 45-10 playing in Phoenix. Arizona is playing embarrassing football after years of success and a team with some of those players still on it. The Denver Broncos entered the State Farm Stadium after losing a close game with Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. They took on the Cardinals after a short week and dismantled the offense. Arizona turned the ball over five times. Josh Rosen threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball three times recovering only one of them. This was the wake up call to the front office, and changes at offensive coordinator have been made. I feel like a broken record when I talk about how bad the Cardinals are, but now it’s just ridiculous.
Mike McCoy was in his first year of offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, and so far his offense has been the worst in the NFL. They are absolutely atrocious, and there looked to be no end in sight. Now he has been fired and replaced with the team’s quarterback coach Byron Leftwich. His seat was on fire, and the whole coaching staff is basically roasting in theirs. Not one of their jobs are even remotely safe after this 1-6 start. With seven weeks under their belt, the only thing to show for it was a win against an even more injured team. The Cardinals have been outscored 184-92 during this season, and the offense is nonexistent. Running back David Johnson is struggling the most. Johnson is averaging 47 rushing yards per game and 8.3 receiving yards. This is shocking coming from a player who at one point almost had an 1000 yard rushing and receiving season. This change is likely due to the Cardinals offensive lines injuries and just his lack of production in the first few games. The team has tried integrating him into the system more, but he has not been able to perform. This Arizona team has so many problems! Hopefully, Leftwich is ready to improve the offense.
Defensively the Cardinals are doing the best they can. They gave up 31 points, which isn’t good at all, but they have been put on the field without rest and have forced turnovers. Patrick Peterson picked off Case Keenum, and they held the Broncos offense to only 309 yards. If Leftwich can get the offense to perform better, then the defense will be able to stop teams and keep the Cards in games. There have two games where the Cardinals lost by two and three, because the defense kept them in it. The Cardinals rank fourth in the NFL in sacks and are second in defensive touchdowns. The defense is aggressive, and for the most part they are solid. The biggest weakness is the rush defense which allows 148.3 yards per game. This is the worst in the NFL and the second worst team was the Broncos who held the Cardinals to 69 yards. A defense can’t work if the offense does not help, so hopefully, the coaching change will fix them.
The Cardinals had to make a big change to the coaching staff and firing Mike McCoy was the obvious choice. Arizona is the worst team in the NFL, and they have to do better. The offensive line is injured, Johnson looks ineffective and Rosen might be scarred from this season’s experience. Leftwich has a lot to improve with this offense, and if he can just get them clicking a little bit they might be able to salvage this season. The Cardinals have nine days to get their team figured out and heal up some of their injured players. They play the 49ers in their next game, which will be a huge test and probably a last chance for the coaching staff.