The Arizona Cardinals suffered a 31-7 blowout loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and they were plagued by many of the issues that led them to stumble to last season's finish line.
After putting together a perfect opening drive, the Cardinals offense sputtered and converted just 3 of 11 third downs while quarterback Carson Palmer took a beating.
The Cardinals didn't fall drastically in any rankings despite the blowout, but that's in part because they were already so low.
(last week #21)
Carson Palmer converted 3 of 11 third-down drop-backs Sunday, targeting Larry Fitzgerald once (dropped pass). Sunday was the second straight week Fitzgerald was targeted only once on third down.
(last week #23)
I don't care how undersized he is or how unimpressive his 40-yard dash time was … Tyrann Mathieu is going to be a star in this league. His ability to create turnovers reminds me of Charles Tillman in Chicago.
(last week #19)
Carson Palmer and the Cardinals' offense went right down the field on the opening drive in New Orleans, passing five times and running it six while converting on both third downs and finishing up with a score. But it was all downhill from there. Arizona struggled in protection, struggled to protect the football and struggled in the secondary.
If the Cardinals can steal a road win in Tampa Bay this week, they'll have a chance to put together a nice stretch, as they'll be at home for four of five after that.
(last week #28)
I don't know how much longer Carson Palmer's going to last behind that offensive line, especially in Bruce Arians' pass-happy offense. He's been sacked nine times and has thrown four picks and three touchdowns so far this season. Arizona moves up by virtue of other teams, worse teams, sliding far in the rankings.
(last week #21)
Over the course of a 48-hour span starting Sunday, the Cardinals lost three linebackers (Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander and Alex Okafor) to season-ending injuries. I'm not ready to blame anyone for this turn of bad luck, but if we find out later that John Skelton broke a mirror on his way out of town, it would not be a surprise.