Cardinals HC Steve Wilks feels ‘ jobs are in jeopardy’ with loss to Denver
Oct 15, 2018, 3:55 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2018, 2:28 pm
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks didn’t sugar coat anything during his Monday press conference.
With a Cardinals offense that has sputtered through six weeks of football and fans asking for an offensive change, Wilks opened up about how important Thursday night’s game against the Denver Broncos really is.
“I would say all of our jobs are in jeopardy,” Wilks said when asked if offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s job was on the line. “Including mine if we don’t win.”
It’s been a rough road for the Cardinals offense.
Going with Sam Bradford under center to start the season, Arizona was hit in the mouth early on.
In their first two games of the season, only running back David Johnson found pay dirt as the team scored just six points in eight quarters.
Week 3 would bring two touchdowns through the air for Bradford in the first half, but the QB would regress in the second with two interceptions and the eventual benching for rookie signal caller Josh Rosen.
Bradford ended his reign as Arizona’s starter tossing four interceptions and two touchdowns in a little more than two and a half games played. He completed 62 percent of his passes for 400 yards and had a QBR of 62.5.
Since then, the team has gone 1-2 — the win coming thanks to a five-takeaway effort from the team’s defense — with question marks continuously looming over the offense and its coordinator.
Arizona ranks last in yards per game (220.5), total yards (1,323) and second to last in points per game (13.7). Through the air, the team is slightly better than the Buffalo Bills in terms of passing yards per game.
One of the biggest questions surrounding McCoy’s offense has been the usage of David Johnson.
Since returning from his wrist injury, Johnson has struggled to find a rhythm.
Although he has found the end zone five times through five games, the running back has averaged 3.2 on the ground. He had eight touchdowns in 2016 though six games and was much more efficient with his touches, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Johnson has failed to reach the century mark in each of the first six games of 2018, with 71 yards being his season-high against the Seattle Seahawks.
Looking at the rest of the league, the Cardinals are dead last in rushing yards (384) and rushing yards per game (64.0).
Johnson hasn’t been a factor in the passing game, either. Through six weeks, the running back has just 17 receptions for 135 yards and one score compared to accumulating 265 yards on 20 catches over that same span in 2016.
With a short week and a Denver Broncos defense that sacked Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff five times in Week 6 coming to town on Thursday, the offense will once again be in the spotlight.
“I think really what we need to look at is really a lot of carry over,” Wilks said when asked what his plan was for the offense with a short week. “Some of the things we’ve done this past week, how much can we carry over in a short week to try to make things simpler on the quarterback so therefore he can go out there and process things and play fast.”
“I’m not so much sure on them trying to gameplan against us. I’m sure they’re going to be in the same situation as well.”