When the Arizona Cardinals made the move from Sam Bradford to Josh Rosen against the Chicago Bears, it was the second benching of the game.
The first, one that was slightly under the radar to many, was the move the Cardinals made in benching Jamar Taylor for Bene Benwikere.
When you bench a veteran quarterback for a rookie first round pick, the news and headlines all go to one thing, that move.
That’s why despite little fanfare or coverage, the move from Jamar Taylor to Benwikere was maybe the most important one that has happened.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the move to Josh Rosen was absolutely necessary, but it hasn’t exactly sparked the offensive revolution the rest of the NFL has been experiencing, but that has little to do with Rosen as we know.
No, instead the move from Taylor to Benwikere has completely changed the Arizona Cardinals pass defense.
#AZCardinals team coverage grade splits:— PFF ARZ Cardinals (@PFF_Cardinals) October 9, 2018
Weeks 1-2: 54.9 coverage grade (27th), 13.0 YPA (26th)
Weeks 3-5: 74.7 coverage grade (6th), 9.6 YPA (4th)
Both #AZCardinals CBs are in the top 10 in passer rating allowed.— PFF ARZ Cardinals (@PFF_Cardinals) October 9, 2018
Patrick Peterson has allowed a 43.6 passer rating (3rd lowest)
Bene Benwikere has allowed a 55.2 passer rating (10th)
The grading can obviously coincide with the fact that the Cardinals have been playing very, very average to below average to awful quarterbacks, the last three weeks, but you cannot discount the move to Benwikere, as his numbers show he has massively outperformed Jamar Taylor.
#AZCardinals CB Comparison:— PFF ARZ Cardinals (@PFF_Cardinals) October 9, 2018
Bene Benwikere (115 cov snaps): 12-19, 102 yds, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 55.2 passer rating, 1 penalty
Jamar Taylor (126): 16-19, 285 yds, 118.8 passer rating, 4 penalties
Now, we get the meat of the talented passing quarterbacks, outside of the Denver Broncos, so we will see how this changes over the next couple of weeks, but so far, it has been one of the most important moves Steve Wilks has made.