Arizona Cardinals need to change offensive mentality
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals need head coach Bruce Arians to transform his offense into a more run-oriented attack going forward
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians basically has no choice. If he wants to make the playoffs with the current configuration of his squad, the Cards’ stubborn leader will need to change. Quarterback Drew Stanton is no Carson Palmer, and the sooner Arians realizes that, the better.
It’s no secret that the team’s bread and butter has been the passing game. As good as David Johnson did running the ball the last couple of years, you always had the feeling that the coach would rather be chucking it downfield. But with Stanton now at the controls, staying with that philosophy could have disastrous results.
Running that type of air attack requires an accurate thrower. Accuracy was never a problem for Palmer, who could hit open receivers with regularity. Errant throws, especially on third (or even fourth down) are killers, and were something that Arizona’s starter since 2013 rarely uncorked.
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With Stanton however, all bets are off. Despite being in the NFL for 10 seasons, his accuracy has never improved. A 52.7 career completion percentage is probably the main reason that Stanton has remained a backup throughout his career.
It’s no secret that Adrian Peterson likes to carry the rock. In his Cardinals’ debut three weeks ago, the future Hall of Famer scampered for 134 yards on 26 carries. Coincidentally (or not), Arizona won that contest, scoring a season-high 38 points in the process.
A now-healthy offensive line that is finally achieving some continuity will aid in the success of the newly-proposed gameplan. The same five linemen that were together for the Tampa Bay game will be out there this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers. That type of cohesion between the five guys up front can only help.
The problem now is convincing Arians to be open to a different idea. As the old saying goes, “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks”. But if the Cards want to keep their slight Super Bowl hopes alive, that old dog is going to have to change his ways.