It only makes sense, as the offense rounds to form, that the points are starting to come for the Cardinals. At this point, the Cards have 254 points scored this season after 11 games. All of last season, the Cardinals scored 250. (And a h/t to Kent Somers for pointing it out.) But the points are coming in many ways that are new. The mere fact that the Cardinals have scored at least 20 points in seven straight games is nice, since last year, the Cardinals reached 20 points exactly once in their final 12 games of the season.
As was mentioned Sunday, the 40 points against the Colts was the most the Cards had scored since beating Denver, 43-13 — I like to refer to it as Jay Feely’s Fantastic Show – in December of 2010. It was also the fourth straight game the Cardinals scored at least 25 points. The last time that happened? Back in Weeks 3 through 6 of 1988, the Cards’ inaugural season in Arizona, when Neil Lomax and company scored at least 30 in beating the Bucs, Redskins, Rams and Steelers.
It isn’t as if the Cards are scorching the scoreboard. They are on pace for a respectable 369 points, although that falls short of the 400-plus points the Cardinals scored in 2007 and 2008. They are still only 18th in the league in points. But after last year, when they were next-to-last in points (to the Chiefs), the trend is encouraging. And pointed up.
Tags: Jay Feely, Neil Lomax, offense
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The Cardinals have a whole new coaching staff, a new quarterback, and a new offensive system. At this point, the offense has not been as crisp or productive as the Cards have hoped. But it does seem like it is better than last season at this point.
Generally, the numbers bear it out.
|Year||1st downs||3rd-down Pct||Yds||Yds rushing||Yds Passing||Sacks allowed||Att||Comp||TD||INT|
As you can see, there isn’t a giant discrepancy. There is a pretty healthy difference in the running game — more than 100 yards — and the arrow would seem to point up for the Cardinals heading forward with the way Andre Ellington and now Stepfan Taylor have looked. The third-down conversions aren’t much better, and the fewer third-down chances says to me more about the Cards getting some yards on first- and second-down rather than shorter drives. As long as Carson Palmer stays healthy too, I think the offense creates a bigger gap between now and 2012 too, both with the schedule coming and the recollection that the Cards’ offense got worse — much worse — in the second half of the season last year. Sacks are way down too, believe it or not. Palmer better figure out the interception problem, however. That’s the glaring error of 2013.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Carson Palmer, offense, Stepfan Taylor
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There’s been a lot of talk about the Cardinals adjusting their playcalling to fit with what seems to be a transitioning philosophy on offense — a little more deliberate, sticking with the run, etc. But offensive coordinator Mike Miller said nothing really has changed in what he has been dialing up on game days.
“It feels pretty much the same,” Miller said. “I haven’t really done anything differently. We’ve made adjustments in-game that come up specific to that opponent. But as far as the way we call it, I mean, we ran no-huddle in the Seattle game, mixed it up in the New England game. It’s been ‘up’ we just haven’t called it.”
Through three games, the Cardinals are fairly balanced, although not 50-50. The Cardinals have 87 pass attempts and been sacked five times, and nine of the 12 quarterback runs have been scrambles from a passing play, for 101 pass plays. With the three intentional quarterback runs, they have had 78 rushing plays. Interestingly, even though the offense needs to generate more yards and have been outgained, the Cardinals have almost even time of possession with opponents (29:46 to 30:14) and the Cardinals are one of only six teams in the NFL to score at least 20 points in each of their three games.
(They are the only team in the NFL to allow less than 20 points in each game too.)
– There were a couple of statistical changes from the Philadelphia game, affecting the sack totals of a couple of linebackers. Sam Acho had previously been credited with a tackle after a Michael Vick one-yard scramble in the second quarter, but after further review it was deemed Vick only got back to the line of scrimmage — which by definition gives Acho a sack. In the third quarter, Daryl Washington had been credited with a 12-yard sack of Vick on a first down play, but after further review it was decided Vick was a runner when Washington got to him, so instead of a sack it became a 12-yard tackle-for-loss. It means Washington now only has two sacks this season and Acho now has two himself.
Tags: Daryl Washington, Mike Miller, offense, sacks, Sam Acho
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