Rapid Reactions: Cardinals fall to Chiefs despite Johnson’s big game
Larry Fitzgerald passed Terrell Owens for second in all-time receiving yards and David Johnson finished with 183 yards from scrimmage, but it wasn’t enough for the Arizona Cardinals to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Cardinals defense sacked Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes five times but the secondary could not contain wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who broke loose for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the strong effort, the Cardinals take another loss 26-14 on the road in a tough environment.
Here are the rapid reactions from the 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station staff:
Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta
My biggest takeaway from Sunday’s 26-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is: how far behind was the Cardinals’ offense to start the 2018 season?
Why do I feel that way? Because a 260-yard, 14-point performance against a porous Kansas City defense is being “celebrated” as a step forward. Yes, the Cardinals finally used David Johnson the way everyone envisioned (28 touches for 183 yards and hey, it only took until the ninth game of the season!) but the offensive line remains a real problem. Mike Iupati missed the game, Justin Pugh left with an injury midway through. Right tackle Andre Smith was abused by edge rushers all day long and for whatever reason, Arizona didn’t scheme to get him much help either.
Josh Rosen was battered all day long but showed poise. His fourth-quarter interception on a screen pass was a bad play and ultimately led to Kansas City’s final touchdown.
Defensively, outside of the first drive during which Kansas City sliced through them with little trouble, the Cardinals played well. They held the Chiefs to their lowest scoring and yardage outputs of the season. Chandler Jones was a beast, racking up two sacks.
Does this feel like progress and improvement? Sadly, that answer is ‘yes’ — but at least it’s something to build on heading into next week’s game against the hapless Oakland Raiders.
John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo
I think I can live with a moral victory on this one.
The Cardinals were not waxed by perhaps the best team in the NFL. They did not allow the Kansas City Chiefs to score 30 points. They did not allow Patrick Mahomes to throw for 300 yards. And early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were within six points — 20-14.
The Chiefs had a hard time putting the Cardinals away. Steve Wilks’ defense did a decent job against a prolific offense.
The offense for the most part struggled. That was because they were down two guards as Arizona played without Mike Iupati and lost Justin Pugh to a knee injury during the game. Andre Smith looked like he had never played right tackle in his life.
Look, no one was expecting a Cardinals victory at Arrowhead Stadium. What we hoped for was a competitive game with signs of progress. Those signs came more with the defense. Besides Tyreke Hill, who had 117 yards receiving and got lost behind the defense for two touchdowns, the Cardinals kept most of the Chiefs offense in check.
Kareem Hunt did not go off. Travis Kelce did not go off. And Mahomes, whom the Cardinals sacked five times, did not go off.
Offensively, the Cardinals got the type of production out of David Johnson we had come to expect two years ago. He scored twice, once rushing and once receiving. He had 98 rushing yards on 21 carries. He also had seven receptions for 85 yards. They were in the game in the fourth quarter and had the ball down six when a Rosen interception led to a Chiefs score to put the game away.
Not a win but progress was made.
Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf
Josh Rosen is tough. Larry Fitzgerald proved for the two millionth time his level of professionalism. Chandler Jones was excellent. If you accept that the Cardinals are a bad team with no direction, this game was a positive.
The problem is a defensive head coach had two weeks to get the team ready and on the first drive for the Chiefs, Arizona had no idea what was happening. Both long touchdown drives by Kansas City left defenders pointing at each other. It left me pointing at the coaches.
As general manager, Steve Keim has made some really good decisions and some really bad ones One major failure of his tenure as GM is the offensive line. As Rosen continues to improve, Michael Bidwill needs to issue an ultimatum for the 2019 season: either protect Josh Rosen or no one in the personnel department should be protected.