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Film Room

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Cardinals Film Room: Josh Rosen's First Touchdown Pass

Josh Rosen breathed new life into the Cardinals’ offense in Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Seahawks. The rookie quarterback looked in full command throughout, and if not for some drops, his numbers would have been stellar. Rosen threw the first touchdown pass of his career – a 22-yard strike to wide receiver Chad Williams -- in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 17. It was also Williams’ first career touchdown reception. Rosen, Williams and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald broke down the play in this week’s edition of Cardinals Film Room.

The situation: The Cardinals had a 2nd-and-13 from the Seattle 22 with 9:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, trailing 17-10.

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Rosen has limited pass-catching options on the play: “For the most part, it’s a two-man route, so I’m just banking on the play-action working really well. We’ve got two deep crossing routes and we’re hoping someone gets mixed up.”

Williams focuses on the defense’s critical piece: “I was looking for the leverage on the safety (Earl Thomas). I just wanted to run by the safety and outflank him, to make it hard for him to be able turn and run. So basically, I was running at the safety to make him pick me or Larry.”

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Rosen’s first option is Fitzgerald: “I’m looking at whether these guys (linebacker Barkevious Mingo and linebacker Bobby Wagner) are dropping into the correct windows. (Mingo and Wagner) are actually the ones that took me off of Larry. I thought I was going to pop Larry right there, but these guys actually got out pretty well, so I flipped my eyes back (to Williams).”

Fitzgerald draws a lot of attention from the defense: “They gave us a lot different coverage than we were expecting. They dropped a lot of guys out on a two-man route and (Rosen) was able to see (it).”

Williams sprints past Thomas toward the corner of the end zone: “That’s when I really got excited, because I know he’s flat-footed. I’m already running and I know he couldn’t turn and run with me. That’s what Earl does, though. He’s a very good safety and sometimes he does some things that are unruly. I guess we kind of caught him right there.”

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Rosen has great protection as the Seahawks rush three defenders and drop eight: “The mesh happens a little slower than I thought it would, so the offensive line holds up for about five hours. I can just sit back here and let it all happen. That’s kind of what happens when you run the ball really well. We had a couple of good run plays before that. Defensive linemen, they have to go from a run stop to a pass move.”

It gives Williams time to finish his route: “Josh sat back there and he could have done anything he wanted.”

Tight end Jermaine Gresham handles Seahawks pass-rusher Frank Clark, which impresses Rosen: “Jermaine is unbelievable. He’s a big-ass dude that blocks really well and can also run routes the healthier he gets.”

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Rosen doesn’t see a window for Fitzgerald and looks to his backup option: “(Mingo) scared me, so I came back and put it here (for Williams).”

Williams appreciates Rosen’s willingness to hang in the pocket: “I was hoping he sees me, and he did. He’s a real poised guy. Those d-linemen and linebackers are some of the strongest guys on this planet. To sit back there knowing you can get hit in the mouth, that just shows how bad ass and tough you are.”

Rosen’s quick processing throughout the game stood out to Fitzgerald: “He really did a great job of digesting what they were giving us defensively. I’m really happy with the way he performed.”

Rosen throws the ball short, and Thomas fractures his leg trying to catch up: “I actually felt kind of bad because it could have been an easy touchdown and Earl would have been A-OK. I put it a little low for (Williams) and that happened.”

Williams makes the diving catch and then leaps into the crowd: “I just loved seeing the building fired up, all the great fans we have behind us. It was just a really good time and I wanted to celebrate with my teammates and with the fans. It was spur of the moment. I just ran. I wish somebody would’ve had some popcorn or something.”

Williams drops the football to celebrate and Rosen makes a beeline for the keepsake. Williams wants the football cut in half to commemorate each player’s first score, but may have a hard time convincing Rosen: “That’s my ball. He let it go. Finder’s keepers.”

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