With just a 1-5 record entering Thursday's game, the Arizona Cardinals had a chance to redeem themselves by making a statement on national television.
Well, they made one Thursday night -- just not the one they were hoping for. And it could soon lead to some changes on their coaching staff.
The Cards fell at home to the Denver Broncos 45-10 on Thursday Night Football -- their worst home defeat in 15 years and their worst since they moved to Glendale before the 2006 season. Their previous worst: a 38-0 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 14, 2003, back when the Cards played their home games at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
The Broncos ended a four-game losing streak, and the Cardinals fell to 0-4 at home this season. The win was the second biggest road victory in Broncos history. Their largest: 37-0 vs. the Cardinals in 1989.
Josh Rosen had a nightmare of a game, as he became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw two interceptions returned for a touchdown in the first quarter of a game. He was the first overall QB in the NFL to do so since Colin Kaepernick did the same vs. the Cardinals three years ago.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 19, 2018
For the game, Rosen turned the ball over five times -- three interceptions, two fumbles -- and it could have been worse than that. His lone bright spot was a touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, Fitz's first TD of the season. Rosen suffered a toe injury late in the game but said he's "fine" in his post-game interview.
To be fair, the game might not have felt like a home setting for the Cardinals. In fact, the stands more closely resembled a Suns game with all the orange-clad Broncos fans in attendance.
— Ashley Loose (@AshleyABC15) October 19, 2018
State Farm Stadium at Mile High? pic.twitter.com/9U7pRvDABR
— Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15) October 19, 2018
After the game, reports began to surface that often-criticized Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could soon be replaced, most likely by quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich.
From earlier... as the future of #AZCardinals OC Mike McCoy comes into focus. Another midseason firing is on the table. Well-regarded QB coach Byron Leftwich was someone @BruceArians felt would be a great play-caller. https://t.co/yGMKxcNHc6
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 19, 2018
"Everybody's going to be evaluated across the board. As I said before, we've got to find ways to get this thing moving in the right direction. Not acceptable, and our fans deserve better," Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said after the game.
Wilks said he wasn't necessarily referring to McCoy when he talked about making changes.
"I didn't say Mike McCoy at all. When we're talking about changes, it could be personnel, it could be scheme... it's premature to talk about it at this particular point in time," he said.