2014 DRAFT GUIDE
No simple fix for Cardinals' sputtering offense

    2013-10-22 02:33

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - After a rare weekend off, the Arizona Cardinals donned pads and went through what was described as an intense practice on Monday.

They need the work, especially on offense, following losses to San Francisco and Seattle in a five-day span.

Coach Bruce Arians said there is no simple cure for what ails Arizona on that side of the ball.

''You wish it was one guy,'' Arians said. ''That would be easy to fix. But it's still guys finding roles that should have already found them.''

An anemic running game, receivers who run the wrong routes, linemen who miss blocks, a quarterback who makes bad decisions.

All are factors that have made the offense inconsistent and often ineffective for a Cardinals team that carries a 3-4 record into Sunday's home game against Atlanta.

Since the team played last Thursday night, a 34-22 home loss to Seattle, the players got the weekend off, then under CBA rules, were allowed to practice in pads on Monday in what amounted to an extra workout.

''It was intense,'' right tackle Eric Winston said. ''I think the guys brought a good mindset out there. I wouldn't say it had a training camp feel to it, but it had a little urgency to it, that's for sure.''

Arians came in with an offensive pedigree. The 62-year-old coach has been in the NFL for two decades - as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator until he took over as interim head coach in Indianapolis last year while coach Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia.

He brought in veteran Carson Palmer at quarterback, but the offense has not progressed the way the coach envisioned.

Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions, second-most in the league behind Eli Manning's 15. Palmer, who has eight TD passes, has a quarterback rating of 69.5. Among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 100 passes, only three are lower - Brandon Weeden, Christian Ponder and Eli Manning.

Arians has gone out of his way not to criticize Palmer much, blaming all four of the interceptions the last two games on the receivers not being where they're supposed to be.

As for the mistakes, Arians said Monday, ''Some are his and some are the 10 guys around him.

''It's the receivers being in the wrong spots, running the wrong routes and not being in the reception areas, and then again the protection,'' Arians said.

Why are players making those kinds of mistakes seven games into the season?

''That's a very good question,'' Arians said. ''You should ask the receivers.''

Wide receiver Michael Floyd said that the team does get frustrated ''but there are times when everything is clicking.''

''We're not going to blame each individual position,'' Floyd said. ''It's a group, all together, all 11 guys on offense. If the tackle doesn't make a block, that's not a downfield throw, that's a sack, even though you're wide open as a wide receiver, or receivers not getting off a press coverage for us.''

Palmer threw 45 times against the Seahawks, completing 30 for 258 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. He was sacked seven times.

Arians likes to throw the ball downfield, but the Cardinals have only 15 pass plays of 20 yards or more. Only Carolina and Oakland have fewer. Arizona has three plays of 40 yards or more.

Against Seattle, the Cardinals managed just 30 yards on the ground in 18 carries, an average of 1.7 yards per attempts. For the season, Arizona is 26th in the league in rushing at 77.7 yards per game.

''Anytime you put yourself in position where you've got to pass in this league and they know what's coming, you're going to be in for a long day,'' Winston said. ''Against a crew that prides itself on rushing the passer and went out and got a lot of good rushers, you're going to be in some trouble.''

Winston said the team tried to run the ball in the first half without success.

''We got ourselves in a lot of third-and-longs. That doesn't do yourself any favors, too,'' he said. ''We've just got to do a better job of getting up and getting the lead in games. We haven't done that much this year.''

The Cardinals see this section of the schedule as an opportunity to right the ship.

After Atlanta (2-4), Arizona has a bye week, is home against Houston (2-5), then travels to Jacksonville (0-7).

''We have some winnable games coming up,'' Winston said. ''Not to say that any of them aren't winnable, but let's face it, these teams have struggled and we've got to take advantage of that.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

Leonard HankersonDec 20 03:12p

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Gabe Miller, DL Jason Hatcher, OG Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson inactive for Week 16.

Roy HeluDec 20 03:02p

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (toe) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

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