To be 0-4, Steve Wilks said, "was not what we expected." I know I didn't expect it, not with three of the first four games at home, not against the teams the Cardinals were playing. Josh Rosen's insertion into the lineup was going to be a boost Sunday. I thought that for sure. The Seahawks are not the same team they have been (and, with Earl Thomas' injury, things will only get harder for them, I'd think.)
But the Cards are still winless, this deep in the season for the first time since before they arrived in Arizona. What is different on this Sunday night compared to the previous three is the potential there is long-term at quarterback, because Rosen was pretty good. He wasn't perfect, and he'll have downs -- I'd think in road games for sure -- but there was little not to like. Even his mistakes weren't terrible. He is most definitely a leader.
"I think the relief on that is we played a very substandard game to all of our expectations and we were still right there at the end," Rosen said. "Imagine what happens when that clicks."
The Cardinals are four games into waiting for everything to click.
-- The choice to play conservatively for the field goal at the end wasn't a total surprise given the rookie quarterback. You're assuming the veteran kicker will make it, and he didn't, and that's a subject many fans won't be thrilled about. There were two ways of thinking: Run and force the Seahawks to use a final timeout, or try and pass and get a first down, which would have basically allowed you to run the clock all the way down before trying a field goal. The Cards went with the former -- but again, that works best with a make from Phil Dawson.
-- Guess Deone Bucannon was back. He went from one defensive snap to playing the whole game, and maybe with him it will be a lot about matchups week-to-week.
-- It was a weird defensive game for the Cards. They held the Seahawks to 0-for-10 on third downs. They gave up 171 yards rushing, five yards a pop. They got key stops in the fourth quarter -- until they had to get one, and Seattle got into final field-goal range. They got a couple of sacks (Chandler Jones and Haason Reddick) and basically didn't let Russell Wilson kill them, but it was still a loss.
-- I was stunned to see Larry Fitzgerald unable to hang on to a handful of passes I'm so used to him catching. Way too many drops -- it was impressive Rosen did stay positive. But that 50-some-yarder that J.J. Nelson couldn't grab, ouch. Nelson did everything right up until that point, blowing past the cornerback and Thomas. He's killed Seattle on that route before. You gotta finish.
-- To be fair, though, the Cardinals still scored a touchdown on that drive.
-- I mean, I thought I saw some parallels between the first starts for Rosen and Matt Leinart, but after Sunday, really? There was a touchdown bomb going through a receiver's hands and a late drive for the game-winning field goal made moot by the kicker missing his try, just like 2006.
-- A brutal way for the Legion of Boom to potentially lose its last member. Thomas breaks his leg on the same field that ended the Seahawks' careers of Richard Sherman (calf) and Kam Chancellor (neck) last season. Thomas has been upset about his contract status -- he is a free agent at the end of the season -- and flashed a finger at what looked like the Seahawks' bench as he was carted off Sunday. Rosen all but apologized for his touchdown pass to Williams -- the play on which Thomas was hurt -- saying if he would've thrown a better pass, Thomas might not have gotten hurt.
Fitzgerald, asked about his own nagging hamstring problem, talked about Thomas as well.
“We don’t talk about injuries," Fitzgerald said. "If you’re on the field, you’re healthy enough. Everybody is dealing with something. My good friend Earl Thomas is gone for the season. It’s football. We are all going through something."
-- Chad Williams might become something here with Rosen. He had a 27-yard touchdown nearly, although Williams' second foot was just out of bounds. Rosen made it up to him late with the 22-yard score.
-- Assuming the drops get better, this passing offense is going in the right direction with Rosen. You can see how comfortable Rosen already is with Christian Kirk too. Frankly, Rosen looked comfortable throwing to everyone. It helped that David Johnson got more involved late.