The United States Government may currently be in a shutdown but regardless of what you saw on Sunday from the Arizona Cardinals offense in their 13-10 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the fact remains, the Cards are very much in business at 2-2 after the first quarter of a season.
The Cardinals were shut out on Sunday for the first 48 minutes and 44 seconds against a Tampa team that had played pretty well defensively but had been pretty awful on offense, including in the second half Sunday against the Cards. Cards head coach Bruce Arians even call the offense “Putrid”. He is astonished that it has taken this long for his team to grasp his offense. Personally, so am I. Sure, they don’t have Peyton Manning behind center but they also don’t have Blaine Gabbert either. Carson Palmer will never blow your socks off but he’s better than what he’s shown so far. Any argument against that statement is not really valid. He has been better.
In the first half on Sunday the Cards couldn’t score. Palmer continued to check down and throw short passes on long yardage downs to his running backs. He failed to target receiver Larry Fitzgerald even once in the first half. Not one single time did he throw to Fitzgerald. Fitz of course ended up with six catches for 68 yards and the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Had he targeted Fitz more in the first half, most likely the Cards are on the winning end of a blowout.
Now, you can’t complain too much when your team wins, however , the Cards won’t be able to get away with what they got away with offensively over the next five games against Carolina, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, and Houston. That’s a rough stretch. I certainly hope the Cards offense stays in the meeting rooms and on the practice field longer than the Senate stayed tonight trying to hammer a deal out with the House. At 2-2, the record masks the real problems to outsiders but the Cards coaching staff knows the issues and hopefully they work on them this week to avoid a shutdown for the rest of the season. For now, business continues for the Cards as they prepare to hopefully put on a much better offensive performance this upcoming Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.