The raw numbers didn’t jump out in quarterback Josh Rosen’s first career start, but sometimes the box score doesn’t tell the full story.
Rosen was 15-of-27 passing for 180 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Seahawks. However, the statistics would have been much better if not for several dropped passes.
Pro Football Focus assesses each player on his own merits, and Rosen received an impressive 87.1 overall grade for his performance against the Seahawks, including an 89.9 passing mark.
According to PFF’s Sam Monson, it was the best starting debut for a rookie quarterback since the site began doling out grades back in 2006.
Rosen finished Week 4 with the sixth-highest graded performance among quarterbacks, behind Jared Goff, Mitchell Trubisky, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson. His passing grade was third-best behind Goff and Trubisky, who both had monster performances in Week 4.
Rosen made five “big-time throws,” a moniker PFF uses to distinguish particularly noteworthy passes, which tied for an NFL high.
Coach Steve Wilks said Rosen’s insertion into the lineup opened up the Cardinals’ offense, and the numbers backed it up. According to NFL’s NextGenStats, Rosen held the ball for an average of 0.4 seconds longer than Sam Bradford and threw the ball an average of three yards farther down the field.
“I’m so encouraged based off of what I saw (Sunday),” Wilks said. “I think you guys saw the potential of pushing the ball down the field, which we haven’t had in the first three weeks of the season. We’ve got to finish now. Those guys are wide open. They’ve got to make those catches.”