Even after a strong win by the Cardinals at home against the Falcons, there were several issues that still need to be addressed.
At this point in the season Palmer has set numerous records. Most interceptions thrown consecutively going with 14 in eight games. Sunday was the first time since week one that Palmer threw more TDs than INTs. He looked much better tonight but maybe that was because he only threw 18 passes. Palmer has to step his game up or the Cardinals are going to have no chance at a wild card.
The offensive line did well in run blocking but again struggled in protecting Palmer. On 18 drop backs they surrendered three sacks. That's one per six attempts. I do not have access to pressure stats right now but I imagine that it is a high number. With a bye week it important that the Cardinals offense gets their act together.
Third down conversions:
At this point it's a theme from week-to-week; I can write the same thing and just change the numbers. Arizona was 3-10 on third down. This has got to improve.
Over the second half the Cardinals only managed six points. The team had plenty of opportunities to score getting several interceptions. When Atlanta scored in the fourth (even if it was a horrible call) and recovered the ball on an onside kick, I began to think ‘uh oh here we go again.' The defense was able to close the game out but the offense needed a better second half and not constantly put pressure on the defense to make big plays to win.
Bruce Arians (looking ahead):
Arizona ran the ball 30 times against Atlanta for 201 total yards. Arians too easily abandons the run and has not gotten Ellington the ball enough. He relies on Mendenhall who hasn't been reliable. Arians needs to play the best players like Roberts over Housler and Ellington over Mendenhall.
Going into the bye week the arrow is trending up for the Cardinals. With time to rest and heal let's hope that Detroit, Carolina and Chicago go on huge losing streaks!