Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen throws a pair of pick-sixes in the first quarter

Josh Rosen’s first quarter of his first NFL prime-time game was memorable, but not for the good reasons.

The Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback threw a pick-six in the first minute of the game against the Denver Broncos. Not ideal, but it happens.

Then he threw another.

Linebacker Todd Davis had the first pick-six, off a pass that was tipped at the line by defensive end Derek Wolfe. The second interception was by cornerback Chris Harris Jr., and he went the distance to give the Broncos a 21-3 lead. The Broncos would eventually cruise to a 45-10 victory.

Fox said it was the first time the Broncos had two interception returns for a score in a game since the season opener in 1989. It was only the second time in Broncos history they scored 21 points in the first quarter of a road game, and the other was in 1973 against the Jets.

Not great, Cards.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter against the Broncos. (AP)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter against the Broncos. (AP)

Broncos turn two INTs into two touchdowns

Rosen wasn’t entirely at fault for either interception. Batted passes are fluky, for the most part. Rosen’s pass went straight up in the air, and Davis had an easy pick.

On the second interception, Rosen’s intended receiver J.J. Nelson stopped when Broncos safety Will Parks made contact with him. Rosen thought Nelson would be in a certain spot, so Harris was all alone when Rosen threw the ball to that spot. It was an easy interception and a nice return.

Still, it’s not the type of start any quarterback wants.

Cardinals got off to a horrendous start

It wasn’t a good start in any way for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals had to use two timeouts in the first quarter. One came in the first minute, which is inexcusable. The second seemed to be, at least in part, because Broncos fans in the Cardinals’ stadium were making so much noise. Broncos fans seemed to make up most of the crowd since there didn’t seem to be many Cardinals fans.

And to pile onto the bad first quarter, 20 seconds into the second quarter Emmanuel Sanders — who threw a touchdown pass on a trick play in the first quarter — got behind the defense and was wide open for a 64-yard score. It was 28-3 and the second quarter had barely started.

Prime-time games draw big ratings. Players around the league generally tune in to see their peers. The Cardinals instead probably hoped everyone decided to tune into the Red Sox-Astros game or LeBron James’ debut with the Lakers.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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