The third down conversions were a problem Sunday, and could have cost the Cardinals. And Bruce Arians was asked if it was possible the offense as a whole was thinking too much when it came to third downs.
“No,” Arians said quickly. “We’re not thinking enough.”
If you want to get high up on the list of things Arians wants, it’s success in two-minute situations, red zone and third downs. Those are the moments that decide football games. Going 1-for-11 on third downs usually doesn’t translate well (and it was a precipitous dropoff from the previous week, for whatever reason.) It’s correctable, Arians thinks. There just has to be more focus.
“Our attention to detail on offense is very lacking,” Arians said. “We just had a long meeting (Monday) about (how) there are no little things. A lot of coaches talk about the little things. There are no little things. Everything is a big thing, and if your head is on the wrong side, and your guy makes the tackle and we gain five yards, you shouldn’t be happy because we should’ve gotten 20.
“That’s a little thing — that’s a big thing. That attention to detail has to increase for us to be as good as we want to be on offense.”
All that said, Arians knows his team moved the ball. Media relations maven Mark Dalton pointed out that, after two games, the Cardinals have gone three-and-out on only two of 24 possessions this season, an 8.3 percentage topped only by the high-octane Eagles thus far (one in 25 drives.) The NFL average is 23.4 percent of possessions. So Arians has tangible proof for his offense.
“We were shooting ourselves in the foot,” Arians said. “A couple routes, a couple reads. We should’ve been at least 50 percent again this week like we were last week.”
Tags: Bruce Arians, Mark Dalton
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