What we know about the Cardinals after 7 games
but has been average at best.
Of the five offensive linemen drafted from 2013-16, only tackle D.J. Humphries has proven to be a reliable, consistent starter.
Kicker Phil Dawson has missed four field goals and had another blocked. The punt return and coverage teams are among the NFL’s worst.
A struggling offense needs the help of special teams. Instead, the Cardinals’ average starting field position is the 27-yard line. That, too, is close to the bottom of the league.
Special teams were terrible last year, too, and Arians blamed that on injuries and poor performances by the players. He absolved coordinator Amos Jones of blame.
It’s difficult to win without your best offensive player (running back David Johnson), your sack leader from a year ago (outside linebacker Markus Golden), your starting left guard (Mike Iupati) and now your quarterback (Carson Palmer).
All are on injured reserve. All have been difficult to replace.
But it’s not like the Cardinals played well before most of those players were injured. Johnson found no running room in the season opener. Golden didn’t have a sack in the first three games. Palmer improved after a bad performance in the opener, but he only occasionally had enough time to throw.
This is the biggest problem of all and one Arians seemed to acknowledge on Monday when he said the Cardinals were “kind of front-runners. When things are going good, they’re going really good. Right now, we have to be able to adjust on that sideline emotionally when something doesn’t go our way. A lot of that is the youth in the football team.”
It’s a stretch to blame that on youth. In free agency, the Cardinals made a concerted effort to get older, not younger. Seven of their 22 starters are at least 30. Dawson is 42. Punter Andy Lee is 35.
Through seven games, the Cardinals have shown little resiliency and exhibited no urgency.