Cardinals get 1st win of the season, but still have work to do
TEMPE (AP) – The Arizona Cardinals finally have their first victory, but plenty of problems remain.
Arizona (1-4) scored three touchdowns off five San Francisco turnovers on its way to a 28-18 road victory on Sunday.
The season-high five takeaways mask a lot of things that didn’t go so well, not that Arizona will complain about getting first-year coach Steve Wilks his first victory.
“I felt good for everybody because the coaches, as well as the players, have been working so hard to try to get this win,” Wilks said on Monday.
The Cardinals’ offense started out spectacularly. On Arizona’s first play, a pair of rookies – Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk – connected on a 75-yard touchdown. But the rest of the game, the Cardinals managed just 145 yards.
“Again, inconsistencies,” Wilks said. “When you look across the board, it’s not just one guy. Everybody’s taking their turn at making that one mistake, which is really costing us as far as having a big play here or there, whether it’s a drop by a receiver, a lineman not executing their block, a running back not hitting the right hole, whatever it may be.”
Rosen had a sputtering afternoon in his second NFL start. He finished 10 of 25 for 170 yards. That’s 9 for 24 for 95 yards after that opening 75-yard pass.
“Josh is going to be a work in progress because you really can’t get it done in practice,” Wilks said. “You show him the different looks, but those guys are going at a different speed on game day. So he’s going to learn on the run. He’s going to have to have a few bumps here and there, but he’s going to also make some good plays.”
Arizona was on the field for 92 defensive snaps, the Cardinals’ most since 1958.
“We’ve got to do a much better job of getting off the field,” Wilks said. “They had a 13-play drive I believe in the third quarter, and they only had one third down. So again, we’ve got to create negative plays and get these guys in third-and-long and get off the field.”
Chandler Jones certainly did his part.
The big defensive end had six tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, a fumble recovery and a pass defensed.
“Yeah, that was a lot of plays,” Jones said after the game. “That was a lot of reps. We just tried to capitalize.”
Jones has at least one sack in 26 of 37 games he’s played with Arizona.
The Cardinals play at Minnesota on Sunday.
Arizona has signed WR Kendall Wright to a one-year contract and released CB Deatrick Nichols. Wright is a six-year NFL veteran who has played in 82 games with 339 receptions for 3,858 yards and 19 touchdowns.