Arizona Cardinals Third Downs A Major Concern


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

The Arizona Cardinals third down conversions, or lack thereof, have become a major concern.  They are 12-27 in their two losses and amazingly 2-21 in their two losses on third downs.  They for whatever reason just forget to block, forget to how to pass, how to run, don’t run the right routes, don’t run routes deep enough, you name it.

Yesterday a breakdown of their third down’s quarter by quarter:

1st Quarter –

3rd and 18 at ARI 12 C.Palmer pass short middle to A.Ellington to ARZ 19 for 7 yards.  An 8 yard sack did the Cards in to start the game.

3rd and 6 at ARI 24   C.Palmer pass incomplete deep middle to M.Floyd.

3rd and 1 at ARI 27   C.Palmer pass incomplete short right to J.Brown.  This one just drives fans nuts.  No need to get fancy, just ram it up the middle.

2nd Quarter –

3rd and 4 at TB 38   C.Palmer pass incomplete short right to R.Housler.  Housler ran a 3 yard route when they needed 4.  He’s getting notorious for this.  The pass was still incomplete but you have to give yourself a chance.  Run deeper routes.

3rd and 9 at ARI 42   C.Palmer pass incomplete short left to A.Ellington.  I’m all for getting Ellington a lot of touches but he was used a lot as a receiver in the first half.  Short passes to running backs on 3rd and 9 won’t get it done.

3rd and 10 at ARI 20   C.Palmer pass short middle to A.Ellington to ARZ 24 for 4 yards.  Another short pass to Ellington on 3rd and long.  Ridiculous.

3rd quarter –

3rd and 2 at TB 31   A.Ellington up the middle to TB 28 for 3 yards. Amazing, a converted third down.  They pushed it up the middle on 3rd and short.  Its what all teams should do on third and short.  If you can’t pound it 2-3 yards then you need new running backs and offensive line.

4th quarter –

3rd and 13 at TB 24  C.Palmer pass incomplete deep left to A.Roberts.  Another incompletion.  Not Palmer’s best game.

3rd and 12 at TB 49  C.Palmer pass incomplete short left to A.Smith.  Yet another short attempt to a running back on third and long.  Noticing a trend?

3rd and 7 at TB 7  C.Palmer up the middle to TB 9 for -2 yards.  This one was meant to fail by design to line Jay Feely up for a field goal, so I give them a mulligan on this one.

It’s an issue that must improve if the Cards want to improve.  They’ve gotten away with it in their wins.  I guarantee you when this competition starts getting stiffer here ion October, these teams will not let you get away with 1-10 on third downs and let you win the game.