It is past time for Coach Bruce Arians to start to change his game plan and become shorter pass oriented, quick slants and 5 to 10 yard routes and methodically drive down field rather than chunk plays.
The chunk play has not yielded much fruit that benefit the team on game day; the only fruit it has produced is good for the opposing team.
The Cardinals were shown that they have a long way to go in catching up to the higher echelon of the division in Seattle and San Francisco as they went head to head with each in the last two weeks, and both teams physically handled them in the pound game by their bruiser running backs.
It seems that is the method of winning in the NFC West and any team that lacks this physicality will be on the bottom half of contention. The Cards may be a few years away considering the personal they have, their roster does not fit the current system that the team wants to operate.
Arians seems to also be making mistakes as a first year head Coach in play calling and substituting, and these mistakes have gone unaddressed for the last few weeks.
We as Cardinal fans complained heavily about the previous coaching staff being to stubborn in their ways to change the game plan dramatically, and now we have,( it seems to me), an even more stubborn coach than last year. Arians is standing by his philosophy of getting the ball down field, and his roster lacks the players that can deliver the offense that is visualized in his head.
With the 13 interceptions and several lost fumbles and an offensive line that can not match higher competition’s skill level, and a defense that gets too tired from being on the field too long, all these have been the result of the current roster trying to run a system that does not fit together, like trying to force a basketball into a soda cup for a hoop.
Carson Palmer throwing the ball down field with no protection is one thing but mental block and confusion is a very different story, if the quarterback is unstable in confidently knowing the game plan, that is a sign of making a change, a very big change whether its roster or system oriented, seven games in should be yielding better results.
Arians came out publicly and again defended his quarterback by saying “both of the interceptions were definitely not his fault by far” but the ball was in Palmer’s hands and as a passer, accuracy is no one else fault but his, the receiver cannot guide the ball to the right spot by magic telegraphic powers, I don’t see how it could have been the receiver’s fault in both of those situations, in fact in my opinion the Coach has to take some heat here, because it was a third a five and after looking at the tape, all the receiving routes were longer going down field at 10 plus yards, but they only needed five yards, how about running a play that will get you a quick five yards and not a chunk fifteen.
It is clear Arians is protecting his quarterback from the media and the fans beat down of criticism, which is a positive move for the team’s sake and his quarterback’s confidence, but at some point a change will be in order should the turnovers continue, which will be based on wins and losses, and the schedule may work in Palmer’s favor for the next three weeks as they face struggling competition.
The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars all seem like winnable games, but with the offense not in sink to the system, and Palmer a interception machine, I would not be so quick to say any win is a for sure thing at all.
Nevertheless, it may be wise for the coaching staff to call a system audible, and scale back the passing game from putting the ball in harms way, the Cardinals should be past trying to figure out its system and timing by now, it’s also time for Coach Arians to call out his signal caller for the obvious and let the criticism make or break him, if he is the strong leader that Arians believes him to be then he should be more than capable of handling the fire from the public and perform under pressure.
By the way, no matter what Arians says, both interceptions in my opinion were Palmer’s fault clearly, an under throw on the first and a rushed inaccurate pass on the second.