Cardinals seek answers to anemic offense

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks against the Denver Broncos during a pre season game at University of Phoenix Stadium.Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Cooney

The Arizona Cardinals have no plans to make a change at quarterback even though they've only scored one touchdown, have been outscored 58-6, have the fewest first downs (19) and the worst passing yards-per attempt (3.8) in the league.

It's still Sam Bradford's job at the moment. Rookie first-round pick Josh Rosen is ready and waiting behind him, however, should things keep going south on Sunday when the Cardinals (0-2) host the Chicago Bears (1-1) at State Farm Stadium.

"Sam, right now, is the quarterback," head coach Steve Wilks said. "As I've stated before, I don't think it's just the quarterback position. I think we have some issues across the board in all three phases, and we're working on those issues. I think we've done a great job of trying to correct those issues, starting with trying to simplify things with the game plan, allowing guys to play fast."

There are those who believe Bradford is already playing too fast considering how quickly he continues to get rid of the ball. Most of his completions have been for fewer than 10 yards and he's rarely even looked down field when it comes to making any deep throws.

"I've been saying it from Day 1, we've got to create more separation down the field," Wilks said, referring to his wide receivers, three of whom -- Chad Williams, J.J. Nelson and Trent Sherfield -- have yet to catch a single pass. "Sam does a great job of throwing guys open as I've mentioned before, but we've got to create separation, coming back for the ball, and we've got to create separation down the field.

"We need to take some shots, loosen the defense up a little bit, those kind of things. We're working on that. I think those guys have done a great job at the line of scrimmage trying to fight and get off the press (coverage). Again, it's not just one thing. We're all in this together and we've got to find ways to make sure we get this offense going in the right direction."

If it doesn't happen, the Cardinals could be forced to usher in the Rosen era a lot quicker than they had planned.

"You look at Josh, he's locked in at practice," Wilks said. "He's doing the little things he needs to do try and get every little details that he needs. ... I think he's locked in and I think he's still growing and progressing each and every day and trying to take advantage of every opportunity."

Bradford said he thinks the Cardinals' offense is close to getting ready to prove what it can do. The team decided to scale back portions of its game plan in an effort to improve execution and allow players to play faster.

"I think it's just making sure that the plays that we have in the game plan, everyone's comfortable with versus multiple looks," Bradford said. "Just really feel like we own the plays that are in the game plan that week as opposed to having so many calls on the sheet that maybe we know them, but we're not owning them the way that we should.

"The thought is just to allow everyone to go out there and play faster, simplify everything a little bit, and hopefully, it shows up in the speed in which we play."

SERIES HISTORY: 91st regular-season meeting. Bears lead series, 56-28-6. The Cardinals have won two of the past three meetings, including a 48-23 victory the last time they played, in Week 2 of the 2015 season at Chicago. The series dates back to the NFL's inaugural season of 1920. Between then and 1952, the teams traditionally met twice a year, squaring off 63 times. Sunday's matchup marks just the 28th meeting in the 66 years since.