(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Just as it looked like the Arizona Cardinals were going to get a win against a team not named the San Francisco 49ers, the other team from the Bay Area shut the door on Arizona’s third win of the season.
Falling 23-21 on a last-second field goal from Oakland Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson, the Cardinals are now sitting at 2-8 with a bad taste in their mouth.
Here are the rapid reactions from the 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station staff.
John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo
Not really sure how the Cardinals lost that one. That’s a bad loss.
Inability to close out that game will be one of the defining moments of this lost season. Arizona had a first and 10 with 3:36 left and couldn’t run out the clock. Then they got the ball back with 2:40 left and couldn’t run out the clock.
Stupid penalties by Mike Iupati, Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones aided the Raiders in their comeback.
Gresham’s undisciplined personal foul penalty not only cost Arizona 15 yards but it also stopped the clock. Same for Iupati’s holding penalty that was declined. Can’t run out the clock when you keep taking penalties that stop the clock.
Steve Wilks’ job is likely on the line and this loss certainly doesn’t help his cause.
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo
When you lose at home to the “worst team in football” what exactly does that make you?
The speculation about the future of the coach and GM is bound to get cranked up like a teenager’s car stereo this week. That’s the cost of losing to a team that had lost it’s last five games by a cumulative total of 149-50.
This was supposed to be Steve Wilks’ bunny. The layup. The two-foot putt. But such is life for a now 2-8 football team; there’s no such thing as a bunny.
And now the narrative has just been turned on its side.
Cardinals fans will wonder where the next win is going to come from. The players might wonder if the guy calling the shots now will be the same come the spring. Disinterest is going to be as contagious as the flu. Again, that’s the price of losing at home to a team that may or may not be actually trying to win these games.
2-14 is now staring us cold. A three-win season is possible but only if you beat one of these quarterbacks: Rivers. Rodgers. Stafford. Ryan. Goff. Wilson.
It’s always distasteful to see a coach fired after one year but a two- or three-win season might leave you very little choice. They played hard for Wilks last week in KC but “hard” doesn’t scratch the itch this week.
Playing well has to enter the equation too. Dumb penalties costed the Cardinals yards, points and time. Nine completions from Josh Rosen. An offense that went into a deep sleep in the second and third quarter. A defensive breakdown that allowed a seventh-round receiver gain the 32 most crucial yards of his career.
Have the moral victory debate all you want. A real-life victory was needed here.
A decision on Steve Keim will perhaps be a little more complex. Did he just come out of the draft with your future QB, WR, C and RB? Does he still have Michael Bidwill’s trust after years and years of loyal service and hard work? I think that he does but again, 2-14 changes lots of things.
Luke Lapinski, co-host of The Rundown and reporter
This has to be the Cardinals’ worst loss of the season.
It’s not the low point of the year, however — that was the Denver game. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch, like, 30 seconds of it to refresh your memory. And they really are showing some progress in certain areas.
David Johnson erupted for 137 yards on the ground today — his first 100-yard rushing effort since 2016 — and would’ve had 57 more, if not for a holding call on Ricky Seals-Jones.
So yeah, they look better than they did a month ago. But it’s all relative. And it’s time to convert some of that progress into wins against teams other than San Francisco.
There’s just no excuse for losing to Oakland. Not this season, when the Raiders seem intent on stockpiling high draft picks, and their offense consists mainly of Jon Gruden and Derek Carr screaming at each other and throwing their hands up in the air in frustration every ten minutes.
That’s not a team you can get beaten by. Not on your home field, and not if you’re building a narrative of showing improvement.
Arizona rallied to defeat the 49ers in Week 8, and hung with perhaps the NFL’s best team in Kansas City last Sunday. So there was some cautious optimism among fans heading into this one. I’m guessing that’s been put on hold for now.
Of course, the players and coaches will tell you it’s not that Oakland came in here and beat them today — they essentially beat themselves. And it’s true, with bad penalties, timely mental errors and an interception in Raiders’ territory that Josh Bynes dropped in the fourth.
But that doesn’t make it better. It might make it more frustrating, actually.
Kevin Zimmerman, ArizonaSports.com editor and reporter
The Cardinals haven’t learned how to fix their run fits, avoid mental breakdowns or put together a full offensive game through 10 outings of 2018.
Likely, it’s taken you less than these 10 viewings to understand the reality: they’re just not very good.
Oh, how nice it’d be to have a single reason. But for Steve Wilks’ first season at the helm, the truth has time and time again been made clear. There’s not one.
The only positive from a 23-21 loss to the lowly Raiders was an offensive line that performed admirably despite rookie left tackle Korey Cunningham making his first start and rookie quarterback Josh Rosen only taking one sack. David Johnson put together a big outing on the ground — at times Arizona looked dominant — before Oakland put the handcuffs on Byron Leftwich’s offense for a full two quarters.
And even when the Cardinals rallied, their true nature came out late. Veteran Jermaine Gresham was hit with a huge penalty. So was fellow tight end Ricky Seals-Jones and several offensive linemen.
Bene Benwikere lost rookie Marcell Ateman in coverage to set up the game-winning drive, just as corner Jamar Taylor got cooked by tight end Jared Cook to begin the game.
The good news is the Cardinals’ mistakes — maybe more so than their on-paper talent — have led to losses. The bad news is there’s so many of them, doing enough to curb them doesn’t seem possible.
Jordan Byrd, producer of Burns & Gambo
I said all along this game was a lose-lose situation for Steve Wilks and the Cardinals.
Win and congrats, you beat the worst team in the NFL. But by losing, the description of being the worst team in the league can easily be placed on Arizona.
The Raiders gave the Cardinals every opportunity to run away with the game and yet the Cardinals were never able to take advantage. The offense started out well enough by feeding David Johnson but it still took some Oakland mistakes to make things get going. Especially the Christian Kirk touchdown that should have been nothing more than your average four-five yard pick up. But credit Kirk (Or discredit the Raiders defense) for turning your average ho-hum play into a touchdown.
The thing that is the most disappointing is I believe we still haven’t seen a complete game from the Cardinals this season.
At this point in the year, you have to wonder if that’s just a product of a lack of depth on the roster, or if this coaching staff failing to prepare the team to execute at 100 percent. Whatever the case, the remaining six weeks of the season could be used as a barometer to gauge if Steve Wilks is truly the right man for this job moving forward.