The Arizona Cardinals offense have been awful at starting games, save the opening drive they had in New Orleans. It has been a continuing problem for two seasons now.
The team has scored a total of 14 first quarter points in seven games.
Quarterback Carson Palmer was asked about why that is.
"I think one thing is doing a better job of knowing what plays are coming up," he told the media on Wednesday. "We script pretty well the beginning of games and just not having any mental errors on those first 15, 20, 30 plays and just executing on those plays, and not having one little mental error here, one little blunder there and being efficient in those first plays of the game."
So is it because of the new offense everyone is in?
"When you're starting over from scratch with new players, new staff, new playbook, there's going to be some mental errors -- that's just part of the deal," he explained. "But regardless, we're professionals, that's our job not to let that happen regardless of any excuses that can be made."
Mental errors have been a huge problem so far. It was a problem last year. The offensive line misses protections, the receivers don't run to the right spot. The quarterback doesn't make presnap reads. Running backs aren't on the right side or aren't there to take the handoff.
If there is any part of the offense that should be perfectly executed, it should be the script to start the game, but that still plagues the Cardinals.
Either the coaches are asking too much of the players or the players are not putting in enough work or are just aren't smart enough to get it.
Whatever the case, Atlanta is a fast starter. They have outscored their opponents 41-3 in the first quarter. If that trend continues, it will be a long game. The team cannot rely on a shaky offense to climb out of a significant hole.
Simply put, changes need to be made if the players can't even get the offensive script right, never mind have to react to things later in the game.
If that can't happen, then we are overestimating the talent or the coaching...and we already have seen a coaching change in the last year.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Reviewing the loss to Seattle, talking Carson Palmer and offensive line on ROTB Radio
- ROTB Roundtable: Looking Ahead, Interceptions, and Falcons Game
- 2014 NFL Draft: A couple of offensive tackle prospects could be intriguing for the Arizona Cardinals
- 2013 NFL power rankings: Chiefs rise to the top in Week 8
- 2013 NFL power rankings: Where the Arizona Cardinals stand in Week 8