The Arizona Cardinals had a surprising 14-0 lead over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, only to lose the game 16-14.

The Bears’ defense — and particularly the Khalil Mack-led pass rush — made life tough on Sam Bradford.

So much so, that Bradford was benched in-game. Now, that’s not exactly surprising; he’s a 30-year-old quarterback past his prime on a bad football team, and they just used a first-round pick on UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen this year. The Comeback’s Adam Patrick wrote this week how the Cardinals are accomplishing nothing by sitting Rosen. They’re a bad football team either way, but at least they can accelerate Rosen’s development by playing him.

But the timing of the decision to bench Bradford for Rosen was very odd- it was literally with the game on the line. The Cardinals trailed 16-14 when Rosen came into the game with 4:31 remaining, for his NFL debut, against Khalil Mack and one of the best defenses in the NFL. No pressure, kid. Rosen completed 4-of-7 passes for 36 yards with an interception on fourth down.

Bradford looked awful, and Rosen showed some of his very promising skills to finish the game. But why not make the switch earlier in the game, or to just begin the game, of course? And why throw a rookie quarterback into this situation to make his NFL debut? Sure, if he leads the team to a game-winning drive, it’s a huge confidence boost for Rosen and for the team in his abilities. But vs the Bears’ defense, that was an unlikely result.

So, that was one perplexing move from Arizona head coach, at least with the timing. And then there was the removal of star running back David Johnson in the final minutes, in favor of Chase Edmonds. The main play that stands out is actually the play before Rosen’s interception. On 3rd-and-2 at Chicago’s 42-yard line, Rosen handed the ball to Edmonds, and the rookie running back was tackled for a three-yard loss. If the Cardinals were able to get a first down, they’d be in field goal-ish range. Instead, they were forced to go for it on 4th-and-5, and Rosen threw the interception.

How is David Johnson not on the field for that play?

Wilks blamed the blocking. You can tell by the ratio on this tweet how Cardinals fans felt about that explanation:

One thing we can assume is that Rosen will be the Cardinals’ quarterback going forward, at least. The Cardinals are now 0-3, with a very bad roster, and it appears they finally realized (by the time the game was almost over!) that playing Bradford is a waste of time.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.