One of the names mentioned in trade chatter ahead of Tuesday’s deadline was Giants safety Landon Collins. The Giants aren’t competitive this season and they traded two defensive starters last week, so it made sense that they’d look to make other moves in hopes of putting together a better team in the
LOS ANGELES – The surest way to prove something is not an aberration is to repeat it the next time you have an opportunity.
That’s the only thing the Cardinals were successful in doing Sunday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
They were blown out for a second consecutive week, this time 34-0 by the Rams. That made it official: The Cardinals are a bad team, possibly the worst in the NFL.
There are innumerable ways to tell that story through numbers, but the most startling and important one is this: The Cardinals have been outscored 58-6 this season.
When he was hired last January, coach Steve Wilks called his new job a “retool” rather than a rebuild. Two weeks in, it looks more like a throwback to the post-Kurt Warner years, or the nearly two decades at Sun Devil Stadium.
“Lot of things we need to address moving forward,” Wilks said Sunday.
BOX SCORE: Rams 34, Cardinals 0
That’s an understatement. Wilks has more items to address than a wedding planner for the Kennedys.
The Cardinals gained five first downs, tied for the fewest in franchise history since 1950. Sam Bradford passed for 90 yards, fewest since Ryan Lindley lit the Jets up for 72 yards in 2012. The defense yielded more than 400 yards in both games.
The Cardinals trailed 19-0 at halftime and didn’t cross midfield until there were 30 seconds left in the game.
That’s not something a team can build upon.
This is: Start rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback. Things can’t possibly get worse.
This embarrassing start is not all Bradford’s fault. The Cardinals can’t run the ball. The protection is leaky. The play calling is as bland and undefinable as tofu.
Cardinals insiders Bob McManaman and Kent Somers talk about the Cardinals’ 34-0 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles. Arizona Republic
Playing offense for the Cardinals is like being in an escape room without being provided any clues for escape.
“We’ve got to run the ball more efficiently, convert on third down, sustain drives,” said offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as he walked briskly up the ramp leading out of the stadium.
So how do the Cardinals convert more on third down? (They are 4 of 20 this season).
“I got to watch the film before I evaluate what we did in the game today,” McCoy said.
No one else seems to have answers, either.
Wilks wasn’t tempted to play Rosen on Sunday, he said, which was a wise decision since the situation wasn’t ripe for success. It was just ripe.
“I don’t even know where to start right now,” Wilks said when asked how the offense can improve.
Wilks didn’t rule out a change at quarterback, saying coaches have to evaluate all three phases.
“I’m not going to sit here and jump to conclusions right after the game,” he said.
I’m guessing Wilks’ conclusions don’t change after he watches video of Sunday’s loss.
Only two games into the season, it’s clear the Cardinals should be playing for the future, and Rosen is it. He might also help the present product a bit and give us a reason to continue watching.
Winners of the NFC West a year ago, the Rams showed the Cardinals just how far they have fallen from Bruce Arians’ halcyon days, and how far they have to go to just be competitive with the best the division has to offer.
The Cardinals will be better off in 2019 if Rosen plays now. Bradford is a fine fellow and a good teammate, but the Cardinals have scored six points in their first two games, the fewest in franchise history since 1945.
That team had an excuse. Most of its best players were involved in a far more important contest: World War II.
Changing quarterbacks shouldn’t let anyone else off the hook. Not McCoy, not Wilks, not General Manager Steve Keim, not defensive coordinator Al Holcomb, not team President Michael Bidwill.
Last week, Holcomb described his group as “salty” after Week 1. If that’s true, just imagine how bad things could have been Sunday if it had not been.
About the best things the Cardinals can say after Sunday is that the game took less than three hours to play and no one quit at halftime, as Bills defensive back Vontae Davis did midway through Buffalo’s loss.
But it’s impossible to look back at the Cardinals’ first two games and find reasons for hope, or even reasons to watch this team. The worst thing in sports is to be both bad and boring.
Playing Rosen solves at least one of those problems.
Before the Giants shut out the Rockies for a second straight night, one brave fan put his body on the line during batting practice.
Rocking a floral cap and a catcher’s mitt, the fan stretched out for an incredible catch in the left-field bleachers. He survived some contact, too, bouncing in between two rows and landing on his backside.
Come for the catch, stay for the completely unimpressed fan.
Rookie Steven Duggar tied for second among Giants outfielders with four defensive runs saved in just 40 games played before his injury, according to Fangraphs. Maybe San Francisco can sign this fan for their outfield tandem of the future.
Hess was tossing the ball with teammates before Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field. He was taken to a specialist for an examination of his left eye.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter didn’t rule out Hess missing his start Saturday night against the Rays.
It’s a normal sight before batting practice to see pitchers doing running work involving football passes.
Hess is not the only issue for the Baltimore rotation this weekend.
Linebacker Arthur Moats sprained his MCL in the Cardinals’ third preseason game and the team won’t be holding a roster spot for him until he gets healthy.
PFT has learned, via a league source, that the Cardinals will place Moats on injured reserve. By going on IR before the cut to 53 players, Moats is not eligible to receive a designation to return later in the season.
He could return to the Cardinals active roster if they release him with an injury settlement, although they’d have to wait at least six weeks before bringing him back.
Moats signed with the Cardinals after spending the last four seasons with the Steelers. He appeared in 14 games as a reserve last season.
One of the more enjoyable parts of watching a Major League Baseball game (for me, at least) is parsing all the unwritten rules and figuring out why a particular player might be mad at another player for some overly-dramatic bat flip or sexually-charged walk-up music.
Subtlety is not the NFL’s strong suit, but it was interesting to see some people on Twitter Thursday speculating that Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was blitzing too much against the Eagles in primetime. Is there an unwritten rule about sending more than four rushers in an exhibition game? Probably not from a guy whose new catch phrase is “No s—-, I got a lozenge, b—-.”
By my count, the Browns blitzed seven times in the first half with the starters in. Jim Schwartz seemed to return the favor with 6:38 to go in the half by sending eight men. Tyrod Taylor looked like he got choke-slammed by Jordan Hicks amid an all-out rush that ended the drive. It makes sense that coaches wouldn’t want a player—especially a quarterback—getting hurt in a meaningless matchup that serves only as an extra concessions grab for owners across the league. But it also makes sense that, if there is a wink-and-nod agreement, Williams isn’t in on it. After all, isn’t he fighting with his own offensive coordinator about the right to sack Cleveland’s quarterback in practice?
What else did we learn?
Myles Garrett is beastly. His combination of strength and immediate lateral quickness is going to be hard to stop once he puts all the pieces together. Last year’s No. 1 pick moves like a heavyweight prizefighter on the field and was especially dominant against a pared-down Eagles unit Thursday. He finished with two sacks (and a safety), and set the table for some high expectations in 2018. Cleveland’s secondary is better on paper than it has been in half a decade, especially with veterans like Briean Boddy-Calhoun filling in the gaps. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Garrett make a run at double-digit sacks if the coverage holds up.
Baker Mayfield had some time with the first-stringers after Taylor went into the locker room with a hand injury (why did he come back into the game, again?). Mayfield made some nice throws but did hold onto the ball a little longer than you’d like at times, though that may have been a credit to Philly’s defense. He dropped a beautiful throw between defenders to Rashard Higgins while also bracing for a hard hit by Michael Bennett.
When is it OK to wonder if Nick Foles has come back to earth a little bit? The Super Bowl MVP was 13-of-17 with two interceptions on Thursday. If nothing else, he just looks a little banged up.
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1. More on the Browns from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, including the concussion scare for Baker Mayfield.
2. More on the Eagles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, including the offense’s preseason woes.
3. The next hammer to drop in the race to
4. Todd Gurley is living his dream: Sitting out of the preseason altogether.
5. Note to the world: It’s time to start playing Cap Capi. Pro Football Focus makes the case.
Big Al is back in New Jersey with the rest of us. But, God bless him, he’s not gonna stop hitting dingers.
Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at [email protected].