2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cardinals look for stretch of 'winnable games'

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-18 21:00

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona's offense was very bad last season and not much, if any, better through seven games this year.

A new, offensive-minded coach and a new quarterback have yet to solve the issue that has been at the heart of the franchise's problems since Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season.

Now coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer are looking at a schedule over the next month that holds hope for something better.

Palmer calls it a stretch of ''very winnable games.''

It starts with an Oct. 27 home game against Atlanta. That will be followed by a bye week, then a home game against Houston and a trip to Jacksonville.

That's a bit less daunting than facing San Francisco and Seattle in a five-day span.

Both of those games were 12-point losses, but the Cardinals played much better at the 49ers than in Thursday night's 34-22 home loss to the Seahawks.

Palmer threw two interceptions and was sacked seven times by the Seahawks.

''That's a very good front but we did not play as well as we've been playing,'' Arians said on Monday. ''(Left tackle) Bradley (Sowell) struggled, obviously, with his pressures. (Right tackle) Eric (Winston) struggled with pressure, (right guard) Paul (Fanaica) struggled. The only guy that played really well up front was (center) Lyle (Sendlein).

''Not only in pass protection but in running the ball we struggled,'' Arians said.

That left his trademark downfield passing philosophy in tatters.

''I think this it's the first time in 20 years in the NFL we came out of the game with no explosive plays, runs or passes,'' the coach said.

The Cardinals (3-4) managed just 30 yards rushing in 18 attempts. Rashard Mendenhall gained 22 yards on 13 carries.

Arians would not put the blame on Palmer, who has become a lightning rod for fan criticism after throwing 13 interceptions this season, 11 in the last five games.

Both interceptions by Seattle, Arians said, were not Palmer's fault ''whatsoever.'' He said the same thing about the two interceptions against San Francisco.

Asked to assess Palmer's performance, Arians said, ''I've got to give him credit for standing. You get hit that many times and you still stand in there. Looking back, neither interception was his fault whatsoever. He protected the football like he needed to. We've got to make better plays.''

Palmer ran out of the pocket a few times, but not by design.

''He was running for his life,'' Arians said. ''That's not his style.''

Winston said protecting Palmer was difficult because Seattle continuously rotates fresh players into the defensive front.

''We've got to play better up front,'' Winston said. ''Obviously, the sacks are a concern, anytime you put a big of a number in a game. But most of all we've got to create a more clean pocket, more time for him, where he can step up and really make some throws. We've got to start striving toward that. I think if we're striving toward that the sacks will come down because he'll be able to get his passes off more quickly.'''

The extra time off this weekend is welcome.

''Anytime you play two division games as close as we have, as tough as we have, it's nice to be able to take Saturday and Sunday and just take a deep breath, regroup, see where you're at, then come in with a clear mind to Atlanta and really put all our effort knowing that it's the only game we'll play in the next two weeks,'' Winston said. ''Well really be able to take a wholesale evaluation of the season after the eight-game mark.''

Defense has been carrying the Cardinals, but there were breakdowns early on a pair of drives that put Seattle up 14-0.

''Defensively, we didn't come out with the s peed that we had been playing,'' Arians said. ''We kind of felt our way and uncharacteristically had quite a few mental errors in that (first drive). Once we realized they're just doing what we practiced and what we watched on film we played pretty solid.''

He had praise for outside linebacker John Abraham and defensive end Calais Campbell. Abraham had two sacks. Campbell had a big stop of Russell Wilson on a fourth-and-inches play and recovered a fumble.

''You never think about praising guys in a loss,'' Arians said, '' but those guys were outstanding.''

Arians said there is plenty of time to turn things around.

''Beat Atlanta, get back to .500,'' he said, ''and then I think we can string some together. Our goal is still in sight. That's to make the playoffs.''

Notes: Arizona defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu was fined $10,000 for kicking San Francisco guard Alex Boone in the face Sunday. Boone was called for a personal foul during the exchange and docked $7,875. Ta'amu wasn't penalized on the field for his kick. The Cardinals' Darnell Dockett also was fined $7,875 for a late hit in that game.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed SS Eric Berry (illness) on the Non-Football Illness list Monday, Nov. 24, according to a source. Berry will miss the rest of the season.

Eric BerryNov 24 05:13p

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) underwent an MRI on his chest, which revealed a mass in his chest. The team believes he has lymphoma, but there is no definite diagnosis.

R. Griffin IIINov 24 03:33p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will start Sunday, Nov. 30, against the Indianapolis Colts, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Jay FeelyNov 24 03:33p

Free-agent PK Jay Feely (Cardinals) will visit the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Nov. 25, for a kicking audition, according to sources.

Vernon DavisNov 24 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had three catches for just 21 yards in the team's Week 12 win over the Washington Redskins, and that came after he had [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 24 01:13p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is expected to miss the rest of the season because of the pectoral injury he suffered in Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 24 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) went 18-for-26 for 275 yards and four touchdowns in Week 12 against the New York Giants, and he didn't show any signs of [ More ]

Shane VereenNov 24 12:33p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen had a team-high 62 snaps in the team's Week 12 win over the Detroit Lions, but RB LeGarrette Blount had 17 snaps and [ More ]

C.J. AndersonNov 24 12:23p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson rushed 27 times for 167 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 12 win over the Miami Dolphins, and it was the most [ More ]

Alfred MorrisNov 23 11:52p

Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris averaged 6.0 yards per attempt on 21 carries in the Week 12 game against the San Francisco 49ers. It was his first 100-yard game [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 23 10:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's (knee) sprained knee did not respond as hoped before the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, so he was inactive. He could well miss more games.

Doug MartinNov 23 10:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) returned to the lineup in Week 12 against the Chicago Bears. He carried 11 times for 27 yards. He was sidelined for [ More ]

Michael FloydNov 23 10:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd was targeted twice in the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks, but he did not record any catches or offensive statistics.

DeAndre HopkinsNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins posted five receptions for 39 yards in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is now over 100 receptions for the first time in his career.

Jorvorskie LaneNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB Jorvorskie Lane (ankle) was carted off in the second quarter of the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears due to what head coach Lovie [ More ]

Mike EvansNov 23 09:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears. He has now scored at [ More ]

Ryan MallettNov 23 09:33p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) suffered a pectoral injury in the Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he will go for an MRI. He might miss [ More ]

A.J. GreenNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green posted a career-high 12 receptions for 121 yards in Week 12 against the Houston Texans. 'It's just one of those days when you just [ More ]

Andre SmithNov 23 09:22p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (triceps) suffered a partially torn triceps muscle in the Week 12 against the Houston Texans. He will go for an MRI Monday, Nov. 24.

T Y HiltonNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton was up early Sunday, Nov. 23, for the birth of his daughter, and he promised a touchdown. After his wife delivered their child, he [ More ]

Eddie LacyNov 23 08:02p

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (illness) ran 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings, and he added two [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 23 08:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck completed 21 of his 32 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also ran eight times [ More ]

Charles JohnsonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson had three receptions for a team-high 52 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Greg JenningsNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (rib) had four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown in the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers, his former team. It [ More ]

C. PattersonNov 23 08:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle, knee) left the Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers due to ankle and knee injuries.

LeGarrette BlountNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount carried 12 times for a team-high 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after re-signing with the team this week.

Golden TateNov 23 06:52p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate had four receptions for 97 yards in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. He went over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career.

Jonas GrayNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray did not play in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions after he did not report to the team's facility Friday, Nov. [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 23 06:52p

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright played a season-high 60 snaps in Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, which shattered his previous best of 21 snaps, which he hit [ More ]

Kendall WrightNov 23 06:23p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright was limited to just one catch for 28 yards in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That catch did not come until 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Isaiah CrowellNov 23 06:12p

The Cleveland Browns have 14 rushing touchdowns this season, which is the most by the franchise since it had 14 in the 1989 season. The team had just four [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerNov 23 06:12p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts for a career-high 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group