What happened in today’s Cardinals game?
The introduction had some fans excited in Rosen’s first game under offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. The defense would see a new look as well with a still injured Tre Boston on the sideline.
And the Cardinals do start in 4-3 with Bucannon playing LB with Bynes, Reddick— Jess Root (@senorjessroot) October 28, 2018
In addition, TJ Logan was expected to get the ball on kick returns and even possibly on offense.
I would expect T.J. Logan to get a chance to return kicks today. Brandon Williams is averaging 19.2 yards per kickoff return— scott bordow (@sbordow) October 28, 2018
Mike McCoy’s playcalling has been notoriously bad, even bad enough other teams seem to have taken notice...to humorous effect. How would Arizona perform in their first game under Leftwich?
Goff audibles “Hey Cardinal” and the Rams run up the middle.— Real BS (@Th3RealBS) October 28, 2018
The game didn’t start all that well.
The first play for Byron Leftwich goes for 8 inches— doug franz (@doug987FM) October 28, 2018
Terrible “series” for Rosen. Missed high on a pass, then holds on to the ball too long for a safety.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) October 28, 2018
The Niners ended up struggling on offense as well, but still put up some points and landed a safety to make it a baseball score game, to say the least.
The Niners struggled converting in the red zone as well, even off of a Rosen interception.
C.J. Beathard, who seems to have a lot of his passes batted, has that happen on third down. Robbie Gould hits short field goal and it's 5-3.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 28, 2018
Which, if we’re playing baseball is....uh...yeah.
Phil Dawson makes it from 31 yards.— Katherine Fitzgerald (@kfitz134) October 28, 2018
It’s 3-2 Cardinals, which sounds more like a St. Louis Cardinals score than an Arizona Cardinals, but ♀️
The Cardinals and Niners are the best example of when a stoppable force meets a surmountable object.— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) October 28, 2018
I’ll leave the rest of NFL Twitter’s dunks on this game to this article right here if you want to take a look.
Still, it’s miles ahead of where they’ve been, right?
Cardinals offense has been so bad this year a FG seems a monumental achievement.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) October 28, 2018
Then things seemed to start to turn around....and Arizona was looking for some momentum in the 2nd half by getting David Johnson involved in the screen game for the first time all season!
Byron "Screen King" Leftwich— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) October 28, 2018
In fact, Leftwich made use of Arizona’s top two players very well in this game overall.
One thing is certain.— Kent (@kent_hodder) October 28, 2018
Leftwich and Rosen want to feature Larry in the passing game. pic.twitter.com/HkOaFbYxJu
David Johnson receiving yards by week— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 28, 2018
Week 1: 30
Week 2: 3
Week 3: 30
Week 4: 41
Week 5: 16
Week 6: 15
Week 7: 31
<Mike McCoy gets fired>
Week 8 1st half: 42
More on that later.
Unfortunately, the 3rd quarter reared its ugly head again for Arizona’s defense and the much maligned Patrick Peterson got beat by the speedy Marquise Goodwin for a score for San Francisco to take a 15-3 lead and the game was starting to seem out of reach.
Patrick Peterson had shut down Goodwin until that play, But Beathard hit him in stride and it was a sprint from that point. And Goodwin doesn't lose sprints.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 28, 2018
Increasingly clear Cardinals are going to need a turnover or big special teams play to win— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) October 28, 2018
But lo and behold the 4th quarter arrived and with it, a chance for the Cardinals, beginning with a sustained drive that was capped off by a Larry Fitzgerald TD:
This Larry Fitzgerald guy is pretty good, huh?— Seth (@SCoxFB) October 28, 2018
The team almost got ruined by a TERRIBLE fumble by Jermaine Gresham...
Jermaine Gresham consistently makes some of the most head-scratching plays you will ever see. Most of them are quite bad.— Adam Green (@theAdamGreen) October 28, 2018
Still, Arizona managed to come away from it and thanks to a big play by Budda Baker, got a chance at redemption with 2 timeouts and the two minute warning left down by 5 points.
After that, Rosen led a drive that nearly had a touchdown to JJ Nelson (to be fair Richard Sherman made a heck of an effort to break it up)
And then on 3rd down it was rookie-to-rookie for the go-ahead score:
Josh Rosen just hit Christian Kirk for a go-ahead TD with 34 seconds left— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) October 28, 2018
Josh Rosen: career high 252 yards, 2 TDs
But only up by one, Arizona needed to go for two to avoid losing on a field goal. So they went to Larry Legend who got it in...and then did the unthinkable:
He celebrated. For maybe the first time in his career?!?
It broke Cardinals twitter.
That would be first time I have ever seen Larry spike a ball after scoring in all the years I have seen him play on that extra point!!— Marcus R. Fitzgerald (@ProfessorMFitz) October 28, 2018
It’s about time you show that real emotion @LarryFitzgerald !!!
Wow. When was the last time you saw Larry Fitzgerald’s spike a football?— Dan Bickley (@danbickley) October 28, 2018
Just ask Larry Fitzgerald’s Dad when was the last time he saw his son spike the ball after a touchdown... He said, “Never. We don’t allow that (in our family), but I’ll allow that one.” #12Sports— Cameron Cox (@CamCox12) October 28, 2018
When you watching Larry Fitzgerald score and he actually CELEBRATES after he scores for the first time ever: pic.twitter.com/eHwtHHndeZ— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) October 29, 2018
There was a reason behind it too: a lot of frustration and joy from overcoming all the losing and his son’s own disinterest in the team this week as well.
Larry Fitzgerald said his spike after his 2-point catch was the first spike. Said he had been bummed out because son Devin didn’t want to come to the game. Had some frustration there to get out.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 29, 2018
Larry joked about it post-game as well:
Larry Fitzgerald says he’s never spiked the football before 4th quarter 2-point conversation says he played with “heavy heart” and jokingly sorry he “set a bad example for the kids” pic.twitter.com/92gOrHT0ma— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) October 29, 2018
Perhaps it’s just a meaningless celebration for a 2-6 team but hey, it’s not often you see something from a 15 year NFL veteran you’ve never seen before, right?
And Arizona stopped the Niners (or rather they stopped themselves) but really everything was coming up Rosen for the Cards after that on social media...cause he balled out when it counted.
Josh Rosen in the 4th quarter against the 49ers today:— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) October 28, 2018
12-18, 150 yards, 4-4 on 3rd down, 10 total first downs
Give Josh Rosen a lot of credit, he didn’t play well all game, battled until the end and made some huge throws when it was needed most. Huge confidence builder for him. #RosenOne— Rudy Carpenter (@rudygcarp12) October 28, 2018
Josh Rosen is a stud! Wait till he gets a decent OL and a competent offensive. He’s going to be one of the better QBs in the league.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 28, 2018
D.J. Humphries on what Josh Rosen told the offense in the huddle before the final drive: "We're about to win this (expletive) game."— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) October 29, 2018
Warning: Language below as Larry Fitzgerald even joked about the expletive post-game.
DJ Humphries says before final drive, QB Josh Rosen said "We about to win this fucking game."— Katherine Fitzgerald (@kfitz134) October 29, 2018
BUT Larry Fitzgerald says: "Josh don't use profanity, man. He's a classy guy. If he went to USC where Carson (Palmer) went, or Matt Leinart, he might have said something like that."
All in all the two best ways to sum up this game:
Twitter had fun with how bad it was, only for it to turn out exciting and now going into the bye, all fans will be doing is looking forward to the future and what Josh Rosen and Byron Leftwich can bring.
Particularly Leftwich, who looks to be off to a fantastic start.
Byron Leftwich outcoached Kyle Shanahan.— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) October 28, 2018
When your offensive coordinator is Mike McCoy vs when your offensive coordinator is Byron Leftwich: pic.twitter.com/VoZPQk9GDf— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) October 28, 2018
You can follow @blakemurphy7 on Twitter.