Comparing Josh Rosen‘s performance for the Arizona Cardinals against other rookie quarterbacks in Week 4 and Sam Bradford.
Let’s all say it at once: Josh Rosen is officially the future of the Arizona Cardinals. Sure, we’ve sort of known that since he was drafted, but at least now we know the future will be bright and not another Matt Leinart debacle.
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Playing against a notoriously stout Seattle defense, Rosen was confident, poised, and precise in Arizona’s 20-17 loss on Sunday. If not for Phil Dawson‘s ineptitude in the kicking game (he missed two field goals) and several dropped passes in key situations, Rosen likely would have earned a win in his first NFL start.
With that, his numbers weren’t eye-popping but they show a gritty kid that’s equally smart and totally in control. On 27 passing attempts, Rosen should have completed about 20 passes but, as I mentioned above, his targeted receivers couldn’t hang on to multiple fine throws. In a high-leverage spot, he threw his only touchdown pass to Chad Williams but it’s realistic to believe he would’ve had more if his weapons were reliable.
The most important aspects of Rosen’s debut came from what he avoided: turnovers (zero) and sacks taken (one). Instead of going down easily, the UCLA alum moved around well in the pocket and had two respectable scrambles.
Sam Bradford, who was recently demoted to third-string, averaged two turnovers and two sacks taken per game in his time as Arizona’s starter. In less than three full games, Bradford racked up four interceptions, two lost fumbles, and six sacks.
Besides outplaying Bradford and proving that it’s OK to throw deep, Rosen outplayed the NFL’s other rookie starters in Week 4. Between Rosen, Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns), and Sam Darnold (New York Jets), our guy had the highest quarterback rating (88.5) and the only one of 80-plus. And I hate to beat a dead horse but it should’ve been higher!
Allen (36.3 rating) was beaten to a pulp and shutout at Lambeau, Mayfield (70.7 rating) made a lot of plays but turned it over four times (including a pick-six) at Oakland, and Darnold (74.0 rating) couldn’t move the ball in a beatdown at Jacksonville.
While Rosen and Mayfield nearly earned wins, all four lost their starts in Week 4.
It’s only one game but Rosen belongs in the league. He may not get the national attention like some other rookies but that’s alright, I’m sure he doesn’t mind. One day, though, when the team is built to win, the spotlight will be on Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals. And just Sunday against Seattle, he’ll be ready for whatever comes his way.