The first drive of the Steve Wilks era gave us a look at what to expect from the Arizona Cardinals in their 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
After the Arizona Cardinals forced a three and out on the Chargers first offensive possession, and then we saw what Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy have preached all offseason.
The Cardinals went 45 yards on eight plays, lead by a pair of 14-yard David Johnson runs, into Chargers territory.
The offensive line opened two gaping holes that showed off the cut back and acceleration of Johnson and put the ball in the hands of Chase Edmonds from there.
Sam Bradford threw one pass, was 1-1 for six yards, the lone pass a little dump off short of the endzone to Ricky Seals-Jones.
Yet, it was Chase Edmonds who reaped the benefit, as he body surfed on a fourth and goal from the two, into the endzone.
Chase Edmonds body surfs into the endzone. pic.twitter.com/v16xdI3m14— Revenge of the Birds (@revengeofbirds) August 12, 2018
That was... It, for the Arizona Cardinals offense.
We saw Josh Rosen come in behind the second team offensive line and it was clear that the falloff from the first to second team OL is real and severe.
Rosen fielded four snaps that were nearly rolled to him in the shotgun, and it caused issues for the rookie.
He did have two throws that show why everyone is so high on him though.
Nice job by Josh Rosen. Feels the quick pressure, resets, finds the open man pic.twitter.com/GZXgZ5yTkg— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 12, 2018
Then, he hit Greg Little on a beautiful back shoulder laser that Little just couldn’t get that second foot down.
The first team offense was fantastic, fast and physical. Robert Nkemdiche, Jamar Taylor and Haason Reddick stood out on first viewings, all of which are important for the Cardinals this season.
We also saw the Cardinals new defensive approach, which is insanely aggressive.
Looks like the Cardinals defense will be aggressive on 3rd-and-Long this year pic.twitter.com/RCgLjWYzD8— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 12, 2018
The Cardinals extended their lead to start the second half, after Bene Benwikere forced a fumble that teammate Jeremy Cash recovered and returned for a touchdown.
From there, things got a little ugly.
The new NFL rule reared its ugly head.
After Geno Smith had cut the lead to 14-10 on a picture perfect deep ball over rookie Chris Campbell for a touchdown by Jeremy Davis, the Chargers were again driving, when we saw what many have feared with the new rules:
Please fix this NFL pic.twitter.com/c0nvv3pXQ2— Seth (@SCoxFB) August 12, 2018
This lead to an easy touchdown for the Chargers on the next play, on a six yard run.
With the Cardinals down 17-14, and Chad Kanoff on the field, you had to be a little worried.
Worry not, with Kanoff on the field in his second drive, the Cardinals went 62 yards in three plays, and Kanoff capped off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown throw to Bryce Williams.
Kanoff to @b_wwilliams for SIX! pic.twitter.com/iBTDBrT3HD— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 12, 2018
The big play in the series was a 48-yard pass and catch between Kanoff and Jalen Tolliver.
From there, it was a third Cap Capi sack, this one that forced a Geno Smith fumble, that put the Cardinals in a position to win this one 24-17.