Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) calls a play during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: First Quarter Offense Analysis

The Arizona Cardinals are 2-2 after the completion of the first quarter of the season.  They could be anywhere from 0-4 to 3-1.  About the only game that they really weren’t going to win was the one in New Orelans.  However even that was still at game after three quarters.

The Cards only got one home game in the first quarter of the season but we’ve known just how long the NFL hates the Cards by giving them all these early road games.  The schedule unfortunately set them up for failure early.  They will have more games at home in the next four games.

The offense, well, has been missing for the most part.  The Cards offense showed up for the first half against the Rams, second half against the Lions, and fourth quarter of the Bucs game.  That’s about it.  They’ve scored 69 points so far.  Only seven teams have scored as many or fewer points.  Unlike last year though, this team is moving the ball on offense and have a quarterback who can get rid of the ball quicker under pressure.  Of course that hasn’t always turned out to be a good thing.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer has four touchdowns and six interceptions.  Not exactly mind-blowing.  He’s still having a time grasping the offense for whatever reason.  It’s not all his fault however.  Left tackle Levi Brown still can’t pass block to save his life.  Palmer hasn’t been under as much pressure as the Cards quarterbacks were last season but it does seem as if Palmer at times does rush the ball out in anticipation of something bad happening.

Running back:  Pleasantly surprised with the emergence of Andre Ellington.  They need to definitely use him more.  Rashard Mendenhall has regressed.  He had a decent first couple of games but has done little sense.  Neither has Alfonso Smith.  After scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints, he’s gone AWOL.  Stepfan Taylor hasn’t seen the field much and Ryan Williams hasn’t seen the field at all.

Receivers: Not getting enough touches or targets.  Some of that is on Palmer but some is on the receivers too to make sure they are running the proper routes.  Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t targeted even once in the first half in Tampa.  Andre Roberts had a great first couple of games, making some nice grabs, but has also been missing in action much of the last two weeks.  Michael Floyd has made a couple nice grabs and the Cards need to feed him the ball more as well.  Jason Brown made a spectacular catch against the Bucs.  Kerry Taylor played really well against the Lions but hasn’t been seen since.  This could be the coaches fault as well for changing up things when they didn’t need to be.  I say use the weapons you have.

Tight Ends:  Pretty much a non-existent force.  Rob Housler runs routes way too short and the other tight ends haven’t done enough to warrant much time talking about.

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