ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks on loss: ‘Everybody will be evaluated’

Sep 16, 2018, 5:38 PM
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, left, scores against the Arizona Cardinals during the fi...
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, left, scores against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks wouldn’t go into specifics.

He said he needed to look at film, re-watch clips of the 34-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and see what exactly went wrong and where the team can make improvements.

But he didn’t mince his words.

“I’m not going to sit here and say right after the game what we’re going to do from a personnel standpoint, but I will say this: Everybody will be evaluated,” Wilks said.

Wide receivers couldn’t create separation off the line of scrimmage. The expectation of a strong running game still hasn’t come to fruition.

Not only can the Cardinals not convert third downs, they struggled to even get into position to do so.

On six attempted third-down conversions in the first half, three times the Cardinals were more than 10 yards behind the first-down marker.

In the second half, Arizona only had one attempt of two yards or shorter. Overall, the team converted three of 12.

The Rams were 8-for-15.

Wilks said the failures on both ends contributed to the other.

“I’m not going to sit here and put it on either side. I think, No. 1, we could do a much better job sustaining drives, moving the chains,” he said. “We could do a better job as well getting off the field on third down, and giving the ball back to the offense.”

To the first point of sustaining drives: Only two Cardinal wide receivers had receptions. Larry Fitzgerald had three for 28 yards before leaving the game early with a minor hamstring injury, and Christian Kirk had four receptions for 27 yards.

Chad Williams, listed as the No. 2 receiver, didn’t catch any of his three targets. J.J. Nelson was only thrown to once.

As the Cardinals failed to present any receiving threats and the Rams ran up the score, David Johnson only got 13 carries. He finished the game with 48 yards on the ground.

To Wilks’ second call of getting the ball back to the offense: the Rams wide receiver corps was everything the Cardinals want out of theirs.

Brandin Cooks, a speedy playmaker, caught seven receptions for 159 yards, including beating cornerback Jamar Taylor to a 57-yard pass. Taylor won the No. 2 CB job behind Patrick Peterson this offseason.

Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp caught six passes apiece for a total of 144 yards.

This success came even when the Rams run game wasn’t working.

Arizona held Todd Gurley to -1 yards in the first quarter. The Cardinals largely contained him, limiting him to 42 yards on 19 carries, but they couldn’t stop him in the red zone. Gurley scored three touchdowns.

The Rams quarterback took care of the other 80 yards of the field. Jared Goff completed 75 percent of his passes for 354 yards.

Sam Bradford completed 63 percent of his passes for 90 yards.

Wilks declined to say the offensive problems stemmed from him, instead telling media he would go watch the film and look at Cardinals personnel.

“Everybody needs to check themselves and we’re going to do that as we watch this tape and find a way to win a football game,” Wilks said.

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