SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Josh Rosen took his lofty praise in stride last week, telling reporters he would have gladly traded an impressive starting debut for a poorer performance and a win.
The Cardinals' rookie quarterback got his wish on Sunday. Rosen's second career start was less-than-stellar, as he completed 10-of-25 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, but the team notched its first victory of the season with a 28-18 victory over the 49ers.
Rosen's claim was brought up the minute he stepped to the postgame press conference podium, and he confirmed his feelings had not changed.
"I'd take this," Rosen said with a smile, "every time."
Rosen started off with a bang, as a play-action call on the first play of the game resulted in a 75-yard touchdown to Christian Kirk. Kirk said he was told of the opening-play shot by the coaches on Friday; Rosen said he learned of it on Saturday.
"I was excited," Kirk said. "All we had to do was go out there and execute it."
Rosen, never shy to throw the ball downfield, liked the early aggressiveness.
"We wanted a spark," Rosen said.
The rest of the game was not as smooth. The Cardinals scored four touchdowns in the contest, but one was by linebacker Josh Bynes and two more were on short fields following defensive takeaways.
Rosen credited San Francisco's defensive looks for some of the problems, and a few of his passes sailed when receivers were open.
"Some throws that he would like to have back, but there were some where he did an outstanding job putting it on the receivers," Wilks said.
Rosen said it is important to remember that the offense is a work in progress. The first play of the game showed its capability when clicking, and Rosen also had a few laser throws that again reminded onlookers of his special arm talent.
However, there were hiccups, as the team only had 10 first downs – compared to 33 for the 49ers – and was 2-of-12 on third down.
"A lot of it's on me," Rosen said. "Just trying to break the offense in. I didn't get a lot of the training camp reps, and we're sort of working the kinks out now. It's a long season. We have a long ways to go. And even if I didn't play as well as I wanted to, at least we had more points than the other team."
Images from the Cardinals' Week 5 contest against the San Francisco 49ers