The Arizona Cardinals are not going to make the playoffs in 2018-19.
Bold proclamation, I know.
So with the Cardinals out of the postseason race and the draft being the main focus for Cards nation already, what are some things we can look forward to while the season is still in play? Let’s look at three below.
The Continued Development of Josh Rosen
I am fully committed to the idea of Josh Rosen finally being the franchise quarterback the Cardinals have been searching for. That could be because I am desperate for the Cards to find that guy, but I think it is more than that. I think Rosen is the real deal and always have from the moment they drafted him.
The key is going to be his continued growth as the second half of this season progresses. Beyond that, I want to see his connection with rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk continue to grow as well, as I really like the future prospect of that tandem.
Granted, it could be difficult for Rosen to keep progressing with such a poor team around him, but we can hope for the best.
Is Byron Leftwich the ‘guy’?
One of the only holdovers on the coaching staff from the Bruce Arians era was quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich. Now it’s offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich since the team decided to fire Mike McCoy less than halfway into the season.
There were some small tweaks to the offense in his first week as OC against the 49ers, but nothing big, which is what we all expected. We will probably see a few more tweaks coming off the bye against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
The key to knowing whether or not Leftwich will have long term sustainability in the league as an offensive coordinator or another top position is going to come down to two players and their performance: the aforementioned Rosen and David Johnson. Johnson, in particular, struggled under McCoy’s offense and is hoping to find some signs of rejuvenation under Leftwich, who could employ some of the tactics that Bruce Arians did that made Johnson a star.
Will players continue to fight in a lost season?
We have already seen players become disgruntled with the Cardinals’ poor performance thus far and we are only halfway through the season. Most notably, star cornerback Patrick Peterson asked for a trade, but later walked it back saying he wanted to remain in Arizona for the remaining two years on his contract.
But who else could become a victim to the poor record the Cardinals have and perhaps become a bit lethargic? Steve Wilks is already on a seat that is at the very least warm, so he can’t afford to further lose the locker room and have any of his guys give up on him.
What say you, fans? What will you be keeping your eye on for the remainder of the season?