Sam Bradford was inaccurate and ineffective.
He missed on deep balls. He threw into coverage. And he didn’t move the offense.
And if he does it again, he’s going to find himself it the thick of a quarterback controversy that will be bad for him and the future of the franchise, Josh Rosen.
Maybe it was the play calling? The Cardinals were run-heavy early, intent on establishing David Johnson. That didn’t gain any traction. At halftime, Johnson had just 26 yards rushing.
They also were reliant on short passes. In some cases, defenders jumped routes. In some cases, Bradford just missed.
Consider a second-quarter series, after Washington went on a 15-play, 73-yard, nine-minute drive to go up 14-0. Bradford couldn’t manufacture a yard.
He missed wide left to Larry Fitzgerald, who had leverage on his defender.
He threw a slant to Christian Kirk that was broken up. Washington’s secondary wasn’t concerned about a deep ball.
And on third and 10, Bradford side stepped pressure then threw a white flag of a pass to David Johnson, who was tackled after a 2-yard gain.
Bradford finished 20-of-34 with no touchdowns, one interception and a 57.6 quarterback rating.
He couldn’t find anyone other than Larry Fitzgerald, who caught about a third of Bradford’s passes. Fitzgerald finished with seven catches and 76 yards.
There wasn’t much the offense could do after falling behind 21-0 at halftime.
Washington dominated time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 23 minutes.
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy had to start going deep, but accuracy again plagued Bradford.
Their one-year, $20 million starter has to provide an adequate bridge to Josh Rosen.
Rushing his development will set the franchise back at a vital position.
They can’t afford that if they want stability at that keystone position.
But Bradford has to play better to win patience from fans who were booing the offense off the field in the first game of the season.