Arizona Cardinals look to get offense back on track in Tampa
Last season, the team topped the 20-point mark just once over its final 12 games. Through the first two games of this season, it appeared the changes the team made at head coach and quarterback were paying off, as the Cardinals had scored 24 and 25 points, respectively.
However, the Cardinals mustered just seven points in a Week 3 loss to the Saints.
"I know that we're capable of putting a lot better performance offensively," receiver Larry Fitzgerald said Thursday. "Our defense kept us in the game well into the third quarter.
"And we didn't carry our water."
No, they didn't, and many of the team's issues Sunday were similar to those it faced last season. Shaky play along the offensive line afforded the quarterback little time to make his reads, which then led to mistakes and missed opportunities.
"You've got to do a better job of protecting the quarterback," offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. "Because you know, when he's protected, the ball gets delivered."
That quarterback, Carson Palmer, has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 762 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Sunday's effort in New Orleans was by far his worst of the young season, but his struggles have been attributed largely to the line's inability to keep him upright.
Goodwin believes if that can change, the offense can get back on track.
But as Fitzgerald sees it, there are plenty of reasons why the offense has not quite fired on all cylinders.
"It's blown assignments to missed blocks to occasional dropped passes," he said. "It's a lot of guys making mistakes, but it's encouraging that there's things we can clean up. It's not something that you want to be discouraged about because I know we can improve on it.
"We're going to improve on it -- we have to."
The Arizona Cardinals Broadcast Department contributed to this report
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Wolf's NFL 5 Star Games - Week 14 - Friday December 6The must-see NFL games of the weekend.
- Wolf's Film Room - Friday December 6Ron Wolfley grinds film all week and shares his findings in the Cardinals-Rams match-up
- John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider - Friday December 6The Professor provides insight into this week's NFL headlines
- Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL Analyst - Thursday December 5A recap of the Cardinals game in Philly and what to expect against the Rams.
- Craig Wolfley, Steelers Sideline Analyst - Thursday December 5Will Ben Roethlisberger leave the Steelers?