2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cardinals happy to be 2-2 after offensive struggle

By JOHN MARSHALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-30 18:11

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona coach Bruce Arians praised his team's defense for corralling Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and keeping the Cardinals close.

He liked what his team did on special teams, particularly in the field-position game and, obviously, Jay Feely's game-winning kick.

When it came to assessing the Cardinals' offense, Arians had a blunt answer.

``It was putrid,'' he said on Monday.

Yes, it was for most of the game.

Arizona's offense struggled for three quarters without scoring a point, looking a lot like the team that went into a downward spiral last season.

Unlike last season, the Cardinals found a way to pull it out, scoring 10 points in the final 3:06 - the capper Feely's 27-yard field goal - to beat Tampa Bay 13-10 and end a nine-game road losing streak.

For a team that lost 11 its final 12 games in 2012 and is still getting a feel for its new coach and system, winning a difficult road game was a big step.

``In games like this, when you come in to a tough place to play against a good team, getting a win just gives you a little extra momentum, a little extra confidence,'' said Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, who hit Larry Fitzgerald on a game-tying 13-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Arizona's defense gave it a chance.

The Cardinals stuffed the Buccaneers most of the afternoon despite missing several key players and playmaking Patrick Peterson did what he does best, picking off one pass to set up Fitzgerald's TD reception and another that sealed the game.

Arizona's D was at its best against the run.

Martin entered the game as the NFL's second-leading rusher with 297 yards, but found no room to break loose against the Cardinals.

Arizona hounded him the entire game, closing up running lanes, meeting him with punishing hits and routinely dropping him for losses.

Martin finished with 45 yards on 27 carries and the Buccaneers needed 31 carries to gain 80 yards total.

``Defensively, I thought we played on our best games,'' Arians said. ``That's a great running back and to hold him to that kind of yardage - it took every hand. A bunch of young guys stepped in there and played really good run defense.''

The Cardinals needed it the way their offense was sputtering.

A missed assignment led to a sack on Arizona's first play of the game and it didn't get much better after that, filled with mental mistakes, dropped passes, poor throws and spacing and alignment issues.

Palmer threw two interceptions and had 58 yards in the first half without throwing toward Fitzgerald once. Running back Rashard Mendenhall lost the first of his two fumbles in the opening half to set up Tampa Bay's only touchdown, and the Cardinals had 87 total yards at halftime after failing on all six of their third-down attempts.

Arizona finished with 296 total yards - 248 passing by Palmer - three turnovers and 10 penalties for 90 yards.

``This is a good defense, but we have continually harmed ourselves with mental errors,'' Arians said. ``It sounds very repetitive and it is getting very repetitive for me, too. If it was one guy, it'd be easy to fix. Seems like we've got eight or nine guys on each play playing extremely well and two guys, and they keep swapping it out, decide to not do the right thing.''

An easy explanation would be that it's a new system and the players need time to adjust to it.

Arians and his coaching staff aren't buying it.

``We looked at it long and hard as a coaching staff if we're asking too much and everyone decided obviously no,'' he said. ``We've just got to do a better job as players and coaches.''

At least they pulled out a win this time.

After spending a week in Florida to get ready for the game, the Cardinals certainly didn't want to leave with a loss. That would have left them at 1-3 with a difficult stretch in the schedule coming up, including games against Carolina, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and Houston coming up next.

Heading into it 2-2 sounds much better.

``We still got a lot of work to do,'' Arians said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

A.J. GreenSep 21 11:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is active against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 21.

Anthony SpencerSep 21 11:52a

The Dallas Cowboys have declared DL Anthony Spencer, DL Davon Coleman, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, LB Justin Durant, LB Rolando McClain, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 3.

Bryce BrownSep 21 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared RB Bryce Brown, TE Chris Gragg, OG Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Keith Rivers, LB Randell Johnson, CB Ross Cockrell inactive for Week 3.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch for the game.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Don Jones, RB James White, OL Josh Kline, DL Michael Buchanan, C Ryan Wendell, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 3.

Akeem JordanSep 21 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared LB Akeem Jordan, TE Jordan Reed, DL Kedric Golston, OT Morgan Moses, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Santana Moss, CB Tracy Porter inactive for Week 3.

Brandon WattsSep 21 11:42a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Brandon Watts, WR Charles X. Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, OG David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DL Scott Crichton, CB Shaun Prater inactive for Week 3.

Arthur JonesSep 21 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared DL Arthur Jones, LB Chris Carter, WR Da'Rick Rogers, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis inactive for Week 3.

Brandon ThompsonSep 21 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared RB Ben Tate, DL Eric Martin, TE Gerell Robinson, DL Ish Kitchen, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson inactive for Week 3.

David HawthorneSep 21 11:42a

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB David Hawthorne, FB Erik Lorig, DL John Jenkins, SS Marcus Ball, RB Mark Ingram, WR Nick Toon, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 3.

Justin ForsettSep 21 11:39a

Forsett will start the Week 3 game for the Ravens. Bernard Pierce is out.

Bernard PierceSep 21 11:39a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is inactive Sunday, Sept. 21, for the Week 3 game. RB Justin Forsett will start.

Akeem AyersSep 21 11:32a

The Tennessee Titans have declared LB Akeem Ayers, OL Byron Stingily, DT DaQuan Jones, WR Kris Durham, DL Mike Martin, WR T.J. Graham, QB Zach Mettenberger inactive for Week 3.

Charles BrownSep 21 11:32a

The New York Giants have declared OT Charles Brown, DL Devon Kennard, OT James Brewer, DL Jay Bromley, LB Jon Beason, DT Kerry Wynn, WR Odell Beckham Jr. inactive for Week 3.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

The Houston Texans have declared RB Arian Foster, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, DL Louis Nix, SS Shiloh Keo, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 3.

Jordan CameronSep 21 11:32a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21.

Arian FosterSep 21 11:32a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) is inactive for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. RB Alfred Blue is expected to start.

Arthur BrownSep 21 11:32a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, RB Bernard Pierce, OT Jah Reid, OG John Urschel, WR Michael Campanaro, FS Terrence Brooks, DL Timmy Jernigan inactive for Week 3.

Earl WolffSep 21 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared SS Earl Wolff, WR Josh Huff, OT Kevin Graf, OG Matt Tobin, QB Matt Barkley, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 3.

Dontrelle InmanSep 21 11:32a

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Chris Davis, WR Dontrelle Inman, DL Ricardo Mathews, RB Ryan Mathews, DT Ryan Carrethers, CB Steve Williams inactive for Week 3.

Zach ErtzSep 21 11:22a

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz has seven receptions on the season, and six of them have gone for 20 or more yards. He's second in the league in that category.

Shaun HillSep 21 11:22a

St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis is likely to start Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Dallas Cowboys. QB Shaun Hill (thigh) is likely out.

DeSean JacksonSep 21 11:22a

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) will play Sunday, Sept. 21, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Alshon JefferySep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Brandon MarshallSep 21 11:12a

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) is expected to play Monday, Sept. 22.

Shane VereenSep 21 11:02a

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) is likely to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Justin ForsettSep 21 10:32a

Updating an earlier report, Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) has a 5 percent chance to play Sunday, Sept. 21, according to a team source. RB Justin Forsett is likely to start.

Jordan CameronSep 21 10:22a

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is expected to play Sunday, Sept. 21.

Vernon DavisSep 21 10:22a

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is doubtful to play Sunday, Sept. 21, and was on crutches until Thursday, Sept. 18. TE Derek Carrier would start in his place.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 10:15a

Updating an earlier report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is not expecting to play Sunday, Sept. 21, but he will test his ankle on in pre-game warm-ups. [ More ]

Bernard PierceSep 21 10:15a

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (thigh) is in serious doubt to play Sunday, Sept. 21, in Week 3. He'll be a game-time decision. RB Justin Forsett would start.

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