Thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, Week 12 of the NFL season was spread out a bit more, with three games on Thursday. It did nothing to dampen the action, however, with the playoff picture in both conferences generally growing more muddled and more exciting as we head toward the business end of the season.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t disappointments — in fact, there were a number. Here are 15 of the biggest from the weekend.
The Bengals giving up 35 points to the Cleveland Browns can’t be pinned solely on Jackson. They were bad defensively before he got there and his arrival hasn’t changed much. But Jackson appears here mostly because of how thoroughly embarrassing this day was for him. He was trolled by one of former players during the game, and criticized by another after the game. He was brought in to help give the Bengals an advantage against AFC North teams, and instead he’s become the common denominator in the Browns and Bengals’ respective losing ways.
Josh Rosen had a funny line about his long touchdown pass to Christian Kirk during Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Rosen’s Arizona Cardinals had a 3rd-and-5 from their 41 with a tie game in the first quarter. Rosen decided to throw a quick screen to Christian Kirk, who broke free for a 59-yard touchdown.
Christian Kirk makes a player miss AND IS GONE!
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 18, 2018
After the game, Rosen attributed his decision to pass to Kirk to the “MF rule.”
Josh Rosen with quote of the day on audible he called that resulted in 59-yard TD by Christian Kirk: "Back in college I learned the MF rule. If there are a lot of MFers over there, go the (other) way."
— scott bordow (@sbordow) November 19, 2018
The call worked, and the logic behind it made sense. Unfortunately for Arizona, Rosen wasn’t able to connect on much more than that, as he went 9/20 for just 136 yards. Though he threw three touchdowns, he had two interceptions that gave the Raiders a short field and 14 points, which proved costly.
Josh Rosen has a sprained toe but should not miss any time, according to Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks.
Rosen suffered his toe injury when he was sacked on 4th down in the final few minutes of the Cardinals’ disastrous 45-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. Rosen let out a yell when he got tackled and then hobbled off the field.
After the game, Rosen dismissed the injury, saying he was just “being soft” about it.
Rosen on his late injury. Said it was a toe: “I’m fine. I was just being a little soft.”
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 19, 2018
Wilks says Rosen should be good to play in the team’s next game.
As for QB Josh Rosen, #AZCardinals coach Steve Wilks says he has a sprained toe but should be OK for next week. Some good injury news.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 19, 2018
The Cardinals are in competition to be the worst team in the league. They fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, under whom the offense was horrendous regardless of quarterback. Perhaps a change to Byron Leftwich will lead to more creativity from a unit that has some playmakers, like Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and David Johnson.
Rosen is coming off by far the worst game of his rookie season. He was intercepted three times — twice returned for touchdowns — and lost two fumbles.
Josh Rosen had an ugly start to the game on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.
The Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter against Denver. The first came on the team’s opening possession when Rosen had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The second came later in the quarter on a miscommunication between Rosen and JJ Nelson, who broke off his route, allowing an easy interception for Chris Harris.
The Twitter reactions to Rosen’s awful start were harsh.
— Jim Reineking (@jimreineking) October 19, 2018
#Bills fans: Peterman is bad.
Rosen: Hold my Beer
— Jeff Russo (@JeffRussoWKBW) October 19, 2018
Josh Rosen pic.twitter.com/rPVrNMEhxL
— AaronComeBackSZN (@MrAVOXO) October 19, 2018
Rosen is a franchise QB?!?! pic.twitter.com/1E4XiJl0gm
— Keith Boney (@KeithBoney) October 19, 2018
tHe GiAnTs ShOuLdVE DrAfTeD rOsEn pic.twitter.com/jInV7GKLPx
— Daniel Gleason (ken won) (@gleasondp) October 19, 2018
Didn’t Josh Rosen say he should have been drafted #1 overall? pic.twitter.com/oLKXXDDR5E
— Bryan Panzero (@ImBadLuckBryan) October 19, 2018
Josh Rosen pic.twitter.com/Zy9xiuNlO2
— Devin Rupert (@DevJ139) October 19, 2018
The good news is Rosen began the game by completing 7 of his first 10 passes. The bad news is two of those passes were completed to the wrong team.
He and the Cardinals have to be hoping for better days ahead.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks decided to turn his offense over to Josh Rosen with the game on the line against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and he is planning to do the same going forward.
On Monday, Wilks announced that Rosen will start at quarterback for the Cardinals when they host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 24, 2018
It was only a matter of time before Rosen took over for Sam Bradford, who had been underwhelming in his three starts this season. The veteran completed just 13-of-19 passes for 157 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions prior to being replaced by Rosen on Sunday. Rosen was not much better and threw a pick of his own, but the Cardinals traded up to draft him for a reason. They’re going nowhere with Bradford under center, so it makes sense to start getting Rosen some meaningful reps.
It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals choose to keep Bradford on their roster, as they may have some financial incentive to make him inactive or waive him.
Sam Bradford has been downright terrible through his first two games with the Arizona Cardinals, and the calls for the team to turn to rookie Josh Rosen have already begun. That is not going to happen just yet, however.
Accoridng to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Cardinals know they have multiple issues on offense and do not believe a quarterback change would instantly solve any of them. While Bradford has two interceptions, no touchdowns and a passer rating of 55.6 through two games, what he did in training camp and the preseason has the Cardinals convinced he is still the right man for the job.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 23, 2018
Interestingly enough, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reviewed Bradford’s contract and learned that the Cardinals have some financial incentive to bench the veteran. They would save more than $4 million in unpaid per-game roster bonuses if they bench or release Bradford after Week 3. Schefter notes that some people around the NFL believe the Cardinals have begun thinking about a QB change.
Bradford has made some bad reads in Arizona’s first two games, and there’s a reason we have his situation among our 15 questions to watch for Week 3. No matter how much the coaching staff likes him, he needs to turn things around quickly with a first-round pick waiting to take over.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen won’t get another chance to impress this preseason.
According to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, Rosen will not play in the Cardinals’ final preseason game, likely due to his lingering thumb problem.
Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen won’t play in the preseason finale, according to a team source
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) August 29, 2018
Rosen looked solid in the Cardinals’ first two preseason games before picking up a thumb injury, and he hasn’t played since. Holding him out here is likely out of an abundance of caution, given that there’s no reason to risk further issues at this point.
Rosen also isn’t competing for any job. We’ve known for a while that Sam Bradford will open the season as the Cardinals’ starter. Whether that lasts through 2018 remains to be seen, but for now, there’s no controversy here.