The offense for the Arizona Cardinals has been a mess. They generated just enough offense in Weeks 1-4 to won games, but have not shown any consistency in moving the football. So what has it been? The offense a season ago was not good, but it was good enough to win seven of the team's last nine game.
Mike Sando compiled the changes between 2011 and 2012 for all the teams in the division in a post this week for ESPN. You will note that the rest of the division has seen offensive improvement, but not the Cards.
First and foremost, the bottom line on offense is points. Arizona is averaging 15.9 points a game this season. That is down 3.6 points from a season ago. You won't win a lot of games scoring less than 20.
The offense is amassing 34.6 yards less per game than last season, and there is a drop in both passing and running. The running game drop is understandable considering both Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells are out. As a team, this year they are gaining 22.6 yards less per game. They are gaining 12 yards less per game in the passing game, but that can likely be attributed to the sack yards given up. Cardinals quarterbacks are getting sacked 1.5 times more per game than last year.
Per play, Arizona is gaining almost a yard less per play (0.9) than last season, and a full yard less per play in the passing game.
There is a positive -- the quarterbacks are averaging less interceptions a game, about half an interception less.
Their third down percentage is down 1.7 and their red zone percentage is down 7.3, which is killer. This season, though, in goal-to-go situations the team is having more success. That percentage is up 2.8.
Patrick Peterson's inability to break off a big return is noted. The team is getting seven less yards per return than a season ago. That isn't all on Peterson. The return team in front of him has not been nearly as good.
What are your reactions to this? It all makes sense to me. It just solidifies what we are actually seeing. Give us your thoughts on it.