For the Arizona Cardinals the back half of the 2018 season will have a lot to do with the development of one Josh Rosen.
While there are varying opinions on his performance on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, there were three crucial drops in the game that skewed his overall numbers.
Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones and David Johnson all dropped a pass on Sunday, taking the rookie signal callers completion percentage from potentially 60% to 45% on the day.
While drops did not play a part in Rosen throwing two interceptions, it no doubt has played a role in Rosen’s overall effectiveness on the season.
Rosen and former Cardinal Sam Bradford have dealt quite a bit with drops this season.
Despite throwing the ball only 308 times on the season, the 29th most attempts in the NFL, the Cardinals according to ESPN’s NFL Matchup, have dropped 15 passes on the season, good for the fifth worst rate in the NFL.
Now, this does not in anyway absolve Rosen’s play where it has been up and down, but when you combine the fact that the Cardinals quarterback is pressured the second most in the NFL and his team drops a pass on basically 1/20 throws, it is a combination to see “regression” in stats.
That’s why when you see someone question the play of Rosen, the correct response at this point is that we cannot accurately assess his play at this point. He has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and has seen a large percentage (relative to the rest of the league) of his passes dropped. Add in that he rarely gets a chance to throw a large volume of passes and you’ll see a player pressing to make plays because he understands his opportunities will be limited.
Let’s hope the rapport and familiarity with his receivers continues to improve as the season unfolds.