The Arizona Cardinals “Air Raid” offense has been hitting a wall when the unit makes it’s way into the opposition’s red zone
With the first two weeks of the 2019 campaign now in the books, the Arizona Cardinals offense remains a work in progress. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s college-oriented system has worked like a charm at times, but there’s plenty of room for improvement as well. Actually, there’s one aspect of the “Air Raid” attack in particular that could use some extra attention from the Arizona coaching staff.
The Cards 23-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday was incredibly disappointing. Kingsbury’s offensive unit made four trips into the Ravens red zone during the matchup, but managed to score just one touchdown. A lack of production that almost certainly cost the Cardinals an upset victory on the road.
The team’s first three appearances inside Baltimore’s 20-yard line resulted in just nine points. Arizona placekicker Zane Gonzalez booted field goals from distances of 22, 21 and 21 yards. Three frustrating finishes to scoring drives that covered 53, 83 and 81 yards.
An inability to generate touchdowns on 75% of their excursions inside the Ravens 20 put a damper on what was otherwise a solid performance from Kyler Murray and company. In two games this season, the Cards have converted on just two of their eight red zone opportunities. The squad also went just one for four last weekend during their 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions.
“I wish we would’ve done a better job overall as an offense finishing drives”, Kingsbury admitted when asked about the subject. “Play design, it starts there, and then I think we were a little bit off in our execution”, the first-year coach added.
David Johnson was the only Cardinal to finish off a drive successfully versus Baltimore. The running back’s one-yard scamper got the squad to within five points with 12:52 to go in the fourth quarter. A two-point conversion pass from Murray to wide receiver KeeSean Johnson then cut the deficit to three moments later.
Kingsbury’s comments after the contest indicates that there’s plenty of blame to go around for their red zone inefficiency. It’s probably safe to assume that Arizona will be working on the issue in practice this week. An improvement in that area could go a long way in getting the Cards their first win of 2019.