The rookie quarterback gathered himself and raised slowly from the turf, the victim of another big hit amid another blowout loss. As AZCardinals.com's Kyle Odegard noted, it was a well-worn image on Sunday, as Cardinals first-round pick Josh Rosen
dealt with a rocky performance on the road against the Falcons.
But it was also a familiar scene on New Year’s Day of 2017, when the Cardinals went to Los Angeles for their regular season finale and pummeled Jared Goff
The 44-6 loss wrapped up an 0-7 debut campaign for the Rams quarterback, and invited an offseason of hand-wringing about the No. 1 overall pick’s future in the NFL.
Goff, of course, turned out just fine. Despite a recent skid, the signal-caller has gone 22-7 over the past two seasons with 8,077 passing yards, 55 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 99.
Now that Goff has found his professional footing, he doled out some advice
to Rosen during his Wednesday press conference in Los Angeles.
“Every experience – positive, negative and in between – will be valuable for you in the future,” Goff said. “That’s something that I tried to take away when I was going through a similar situation. And just understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Rams (11-3) have lost two in a row heading into Sunday’s contest against the Cardinals but are heavy favorites because there is a great disparity between the two passing games.
Goff was named to the Pro Bowl, while Rosen sits with the lowest yards-per-attempt average in the NFL (6.1) and the second-lowest quarterback rating (66.3), ahead of only fellow rookie Josh Allen
Rosen is hoping his current trials will help him follow Goff's path.
“I think mistakes are valuable,” Rosen said. “You want to minimize them, but more importantly, you don’t want to make them twice. I’ve made plenty of them this year, and hopefully I’m for the most part not making the same mistakes twice, just finding new ones to make.”
Rosen is doing his best.
He knows that star Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will be lurking on Sunday, and that his reads must be decisive. While it may not have been readily apparent in Atlanta, Rosen feels like there has been progress in that regard.
Will he join Goff and the others who shook off a bad rookie season and went on to stardom? That’s to be determined. With two games left, Rosen hopes to end the year headed in the right direction.
In order to keep him on a positive track, the Cardinals will be employing multiple mass-protection fronts.
As the Sports Xchange noted, that will limit Rosen's targets and passing situations at times, but it's probably for the best. It can also be a boost for running back David Johnson
, who remains the team's primary threat on offense. He's 157 rushing yards from reaching 1,000 for the season and the Cardinals will try to pound the ball through him and its patchwork offensive line.
When Rosen does throw, look for him to lock on veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
early and often as not only is Fitzgerald the team's best pass catcher, but this might also be the last home game in Fitzgerald's 15-year run with the Cardinals.