Rosen’s performance provides rare bright spot for Cardinals
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals are in a class by themselves.
Of course, being the only winless team in the NFL through a quarter of a season isn’t the class they want to be in, but it is their reality.
Due to myriad reasons, this season is probably a lost cause for the Cardinals. There aren’t many examples of teams that dig out of an 0-4 hole to make it to the playoffs, let alone turn a season into something positive.
But where the Cardinals are different in that they have something they haven’t had in a long time — a young quarterback to build hope around.
Rookie Josh Rosen made his first NFL start Sunday at State Farm Stadium, and while the stats (15-of-27 for 180 yards and a touchdown) weren’t sexy, the 21-year-old looked like a wily veteran at times, showing patience in the pocket and calmness in going through his progressions.
“I thought he played well,” head coach Steve Wilks said after a tough 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. “I thought he gave us an opportunity and a chance to win at the end. Great job with the operations there in the two-minute situation.”
Rosen came to Arizona with the reputation of being unflappable, and that was on display as well.
Cardinals receivers were hit by a case of the drops, including notable ones from Christian Kirk and J.J. Nelson. Even Larry Fitzgerald had a couple.
“I didn’t do him any justice by making plays for him, but I think he stuck in there and made some wonderful plays, some great throws,” Fitzgerald said. “He really did a great job of digesting what they were giving us defensively and I’m really happy about the way he performed.”
Rosen, despite the rash of drops that probably cost him over 100 passing yards and several completion percentage points, stayed positive with his receivers.
“Absolutely, I mean the other alternative is all bad, so you might as well keep pushing on,” he said. “Trying to encourage everyone, is something bad happens, let’s get better, and is something happens good, let’s keep going.”
In fact, Rosen was shown by FOX television cameras smiling on his way off the field in tough moments.
“When I’m not smiling, you definitely should be worried,” he added.
The Cardinals should be worried. They’ve lost in two blowouts and let two very winnable games slip through their fingers. They’ve already played three of their eight home games at the usually friendly confines of State Farm Stadium.
But, at least for one week, their checklist of things to freak out about won’t include the quarterback position.