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The Cardinals offense has made progress under Byron Leftwich, just not enough

Written by Jason B. Hirschhorn

Already trailing 14-3 before the end of the first quarter, the Arizona Cardinals needed to string together some positive plays in order to claw back into the ballgame. Mike McCoy, the Cardinals’ embattled offensive coordinator, had struggled all season to establish a rhythm with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen and now had to do so against a formidable Denver Broncos defense. With the game quickly slipping away, McCoy surely understood he had no margin for error.

The Cardinals opened the drive with a B-gap run for David Johnson that ended behind the line of scrimmage. McCoy then dialed up an all-curl passing play that resulted in a Larry Fitzgerald catch just shy of the first-down marker. Facing third and short, McCoy ran J.J. Nelson on a slant route for Rosen’s primary read with Fitzgerald running a flat route to open up the middle of the field. If executed correctly, Arizona would have its first third-down conversion of the night.

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