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What Cardinals Deserved Their Paychecks This Week?

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images
  • QB Sam Bradford—-($16M)—-inactive and was clearly outplayed by rookie Josh Rosen. At least the Cardinals saved his $310,000 active win game day bonus.
  • LG Mike Iupati—-($4.6M)—-everyone knows he’s a liability in pass pro, but none of the coaches do anything about it.
  • RB David Johnson—-($5.1M)—-can’t even stay on the field 3 downs—-was outplayed by the Seahawks’ RB Mike Davis who ran with much more hunger and urgency. Is he a head case?
  • WR J.J. Nelson—-($1.96M)—-was wide open as a WR can get and drops the dime Rosen threw to him.
  • LB Deone Bucannon—-($8.7M)—-his HC said he played well, but, to be honest, all he has proven himself to be good at is run blitzing—-he can’t shed blocks, he’s not a downhill thumper (unless he’s on a run blitz), he misses tackles in the flats like he did a couple times today, and he is often a liability in pass coverage (his unnecessary PI penalty on the TE in the end zone cost the Cardinals a TD).
  • S Antoine Bethea—-($3.7M)—-maybe his worst game as a Cardinal, highlighted by getting knocked over on a block by Russell Wilson.
  • CB Jamar Taylor—-($1.75M)—-beat out by Bene Benwikere as we saw why today.
  • CB Brandon Williams—-($824K)—-costly 15 yard penalty in the 2nd half.
  • K Phil Dawson—-($3.5M)—-has been shaky for 2 years and was shaky in the pre-season. It feels like poetic justice that Matt McCrane, only having had 4 days to get used to a new snapper and holder—-and having to kick off the dirt of the A’s infield—-kicked the game-winner for the Raiders in his very first NFL game (3/5 FGs, 4/4 XPTs).
  • Note—-Fitz was playing hurt—-not going to count him and his 3 drops (one dropped TD —-the likes of which he never drops)—-but it was very weird to see Fitz so off his game, until the great 3rd down catch in the 4th quarter.
  • GM Steve Keim—-gutless roster and staff decisions. Wouldn’t make a move on McCoy last week.
  • HC Steve Wilks—-”I would not change a thing” (regarding the 3rd and 6 call after the 2 minute warning. Two weeks in a row horrendous calls after the 2 minute warning with the game on the line. If you ever have a chance to take the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands late in a game, you HAVE to do it. The Seahawks only had one time out left. If the Cardinals convert the 3rd and 6 they can drive the ball closer and run the clock down to 0.03. Giving the ball back to Wilson with 1:56 left, even if you make the FG is never a good idea.
  • OC Mike McCoy—-the game was first lost in the 3rd quarter when McCoy came out of the locker room going back to being 100% predictable on 1st downs and putting Rosen and the offense in a hole. Meanwhile, the Seahawks won the quarter 10-0 because even though they were winning the rushing battle by a lot, they play action passed on 1st down 3 drives in a row. Good, smart team and OCs do that.
  • Players who played hard and well enough to win: QB Josh Rosen, LT D.J. Humphries, C Mason Cole, RG Justin Pugh, RT Josh Wetzel, TE Jermaine Gresham, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, WR Christian Kirk, WR Chad Williams, DT Robert Nkemdiche, DE Chandler Jones, DE Benson Mayowa, LB Josh Bynes, LB Haason Reddick, CB Patrick Peterson (costly holding call, however—-why he didn’t use inside leverage on Marshall in that situation is a head scratcher and a lack of focus on his part in a key situation), CB Bene Benwikere, S Tre’ Boston, P Andy Lee, LS Aaron Brewer, ST Zeke Turner.
  • Notes on Josh Rosen—-(1) how the coaches were watching this talent every day in practice and choosing to put the kid gloves on him is mind-boggling——he is WAY more talented today than Bradford; (2) how his own OC kept the kid gloves on him in this game even after he had all the momentum in his favor is mind-boggling; (3) not only was he poised, he made an adjustment in the 2nd half that one would never expect from a rookie starting his first game: he started putting touch on passes he would normally just rifle in there because the receivers weren’t catching his strikes, touch passes like the couple he feathered in there to Ricky Seals-Jones (that 2nd one to Rosen’s left over Bobby Wagner and away from the safety was a Rembrandt—-as was the TD pass to Chad Williams, which Rosen clearly pulled back the string on a little to give Williams a better chance to catch it. (4) his mobility was even more impressive than we had seen in his very limited pre-season action.
  • Highlight of the day on defense—-the 3rd and 4th down stops—-but otherwise the tackling and getting off blocks was awful.
  • Highlight of the day on STs were Patrick Peterson’s edge rushes from the right side versus lefty K Sebastian Janikowski. It looked like Peterson influenced the two misses.
  • A possible play to call on 3rd and 6—-fake hand off the Johnson, bootleg with Rosen, with a run/pass option. It keeps the ball in Rosen’s hands and he only throws the ball if the TE or WR is wide open, otherwise he runs for it.
  • Coaching complaint—-can’t understand why the Cardinals’ defensive linemen don't get their hands up when Russell Wilson throws (his passes are going inches over their heads)—-plus—-the DTs have to do a much better job of disengaging their blockers to get to Wilson when he is scrambling right past them—-but this is why having an outstanding athlete like Haason Reddick to send after Wilson is an valuable asset.