Josh Rosen was where he wanted to be, kind of like the last game when he told his teammates they were going to go win this (expletive) game. The Arrowhead Stadium fans were loud, building during a TV timeout, and there Rosen stood – waiting for his team’s possession, down six with a little more than 12 minutes to play – waving his arms up and down so they crowd would get even louder. It’s a spot he has said he loves to be in, on the road, the fans spewing decibels. And on his first play, he found David Johnson for 23 yards.
On the next play, he threw an interception. And that, basically, was that.
We’ve talked many times about the Cardinals not having much room for error. That was the case again Sunday against the Chiefs. They did some things well, especially defensively, things other teams have not yet been able to do against such an explosive offense.
But it wasn’t enough for a win, and not enough to prevent Rosen from being hammered time and again. Officially, the gamebook had Rosen absorbing 13 hits, but it might’ve been more. With both starting guards injured and the top backup injured, the Chiefs teed off on Rosen – especially late, when the Cardinals could no longer ride David Johnson and needed to pass every down. It got ugly.
“Josh is a warrior,” Wilks said. “He’ll grow from this.”
The Cards hope so. Rosen waved away the idea he might be beat up, and in the things the Cards’ offense did do well, “we need to duplicate that,” he said. Lots of Johnson both running and catching isn’t a bad thing.
-- The offensive line is in the spotlight. As always, there are lots of things that go into it, and some of Rosen’s pressures don’t fall on the five linemen. But it’s going to be a unit that this team will address in the offseason. That’s become clear. If Justin Pugh’s knee injury is a long-term thing, there might be some scrambling now, after John Wetzel’s season-ended neck injury last game.
-- That start for the defense was brutal, giving up two long passes to Tyreek Hill after saying all week they couldn’t give up long passes to Tyreek Hill. But along with five sacks, there were 10 total tackles-for-loss. Patrick Mahomes didn’t get out of the pocket a ton. It was, by no definition, a perfect defensive game. But there were things to like.
-- Johnson with 183 total yards rushing and receiving. Remember that?
-- I forgot to ask Rosen about his TD pass to Johnson, which looked like some excellent pre-snap machinations from the rookie at the line of scrimmage after seeing the Chiefs’ defense, allowing for Johnson to be all by himself in the flat for an easy score. Maybe it was a Byron Leftwich playcall alone. Either way, it was very nicely done.
-- It’s a little thing, but T.J. Logan broke off a 36-yard kickoff return and it just seems Logan gives the Cards a chance at good field position every time he brings a kick back.
-- The punt-cover tackle by Deone Bucannon on Tremon Smith was initially flagged – until the officials realized it was Smith’s hair Buc used to make the tackle.
-- Congrats to Larry Fitzgerald for making it to No. 2 all-time in receiving yards. It didn’t take until Week 15 or 16, as he had joked. Now, it’s unlikely he will be able to get the 52 more catches in the final seven games this season to surpass Tony Gonzalez for No. 2 all-time in receptions, but you never know.