It was a bit closer than last time, but the second meeting with the Rams was another blowout loss for the Arizona Cardinals. All that stands between us and the offseason is another likely loss in Seattle next week. In the meantime, here are the winners and losers from yesterday’s action.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
This game and this season will both be soon forgotten, but when all is said and done, Fitz’s first career passing TD will be another long-remembered highlight from the legend’s storied career, and sure to be on his Canton reel. Byron Leftwich hasn’t done much right since getting promoted to OC, but that playcall was a stroke of genius and a nice tip of the cap if yesterday was indeed Fitz’s final home game. Call me dubious that he’ll come back next year, but most signs seem to be pointing toward Fitz returning for at least one more season. Either way, it was a special play that won’t be forgotten anytime soon by Valley sports fans.
P Andy Lee
As usual, Lee was one of our best players yesterday, with 5 punts for 246 yards (49.2 average), landing 4 of them inside the 20 with no touchbacks. As good as Lee has been this year (hopefully he gets All-Pro consideration), I sincerely hope we don’t have to write about him next season.
QB Josh Rosen (as a runner)
Believe it or not, Josh “Wheels” Rosen was our leading rusher on the day, gaining 49 yards on his 4 scrambles. And it looks like he worked on his running form, with no awkward fumbles. But in all seriousness, Rosen is clearly an above-average athlete, and I’d like to see our next OC take more of an advantage of that—getting him on the move, having him throw outside the pocket more, or even adding a few RPO plays like the Eagles, Bears, and Chiefs do for their QBs.
QB Josh Rosen (as a passer)
While Rosen the runner had a successful day, Rosen the passer had another Ryan Lindley-esque outing, going 12/23 for 87 yards and no TDs and getting yanked in the 4th quarter once again. Thankfully, he took care of the ball (no picks or fumbles), but that was about all he did right. The 87 yards were a season low, as was his YPA—a truly pitiful 3.78. In comparison, Mike Glennon went 5/7 for 63 yards (9.00 YPA) in his one series. At this point, we should just put Daddy Longneck in next week and let Rosen hold the clipboard.
LG Colby Gossett
The offensive line was a sieve once again, giving up 4 sacks and creating absolutely no room in the running game—David Johnson and Chase Edmonds ran for just 35 yards on their 13 non-fake-punt carries (a 2.7 YPC). But Gossett had a particularly awful day, giving up at least 2 sacks to Aaron Donald and committing two penalties (a false start and a hold). The end of the season can’t come quick enough for this offensive line.
S Tre Boston
Boston is a talented player and has been well worth the signing this season, but he doesn’t always hold up in coverage and penalties have been a big issue with him. Goff didn’t hesitate to look his way at all yesterday, which partially explains why he tied for the team lead in tackles with 8. More concerning though are the penalties. He had two big ones yesterday on Los Angeles scoring drives—one lowering the helmet and one unnecessary roughness. He’s had these kinds of penalties earlier in the season as well. If he’s back next season (a big if at this point), he’ll need to work on staying disciplined out there.
PR Pharoh Cooper
It’s probably too soon to judge, but the newly acquired Cooper was a non-factor on Sunday, returning only one punt for a single yard and not (I believe) playing any snaps at WR. He’ll get one more shot to make an impression next week, but it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s still probably not fully recovered from ankle surgery.
K Zane Gonzalez
Gonzalez had his worst game as a Cardinal yesterday. He did make a 36-yard FG, but he also shanked an extra point and missed a 54-yard FG. Make those kicks, and he probably locks down the kicking job for next season. But with those misses, we’re probably looking at an open kicking competition in the preseason. And with another week like this against Seattle next week, Gonzalez might not even be a part of it.
DC Al Holcomb
As Seth pointed out in his game recap linked in the intro, the Cardinals have given up 522 rushing yards in the past two games. And 167 of those yards were gained by a guy who was watching the NFL from his couch last weekend (C.J. Anderson). I think it’s safe to say Holcomb won’t be coordinating an NFL defense again anytime soon.
HC Steve Wilks
It was reported even before yesterday’s game that Wilks will be fired at the end of the season. It’s undoubtedly the right move, but it won’t remove the bad taste from Cardinals fans’ mouths after a 3-13 season. Wilks seems like a good man, and I wish him well, but the team will be much better off without him next season. But for now, let’s see if he can follow in Bruce Arians’s footsteps and get a win in Seattle in his last game on the Cardinals sidelines.
This has been a rough season, rougher than just about anyone imagined. But it’s mercifully almost over and arguably the most important offseason in the history of the Arizona Cardinals can begin.
Until then, let us know what you thought about the game yesterday. Any winners besides Larry Legend? I’m sure we missed several losers, too. Let us know in the comments.