The most casual Arizona Cardinals fan could pinpoint the team’s strengths and weaknesses this season. They’re glaring.
Through their first eight games, standing at 4-4, the Cardinals’ offense has turned the ball over more than all but one team in the NFC, with 18 giveaways. The unit on the other side of the ball, meanwhile, has forced the conference’s second-most turnovers, getting 19.
And the first half storylines have been so repeated and ironed out, that they’ve been made into inanities.
The offensive line has failed to protect quarterback Carson Palmer, who has made bad decisions all season long. The quarterback has thrown 14 interceptions in the first half, a number that is second only to the New York Giants’ Eli Manning, who has thrown 15. Larry Fitzgerald has had a nagging injury and has been largely ineffective. And offseason acquisition Rashard Mendenhall, meanwhile, has struggled to gain traction on the rushing front, averaging a measly 3.1 yards per carry.
The coordinator of the Cardinals’ lackluster offense — which ranks third-worst in the NFC in both scoring and yardage — is far from out of the loop on his unit’s faring, as could be told from his session with the media Tuesday in Tempe.
Harold Goodwin called his offense’s first half performance “so-so,” going on to say, “(there’s) still a lot of room for improvement.”
But it’s not all negative to Goodwin, who has seen flashes of promise in the Cardinals’ first several games.
“You can see the potential in the offense throughout the first eight games of the season,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of times where we get drives going, then something happens and we start to sputter. But when it’s on, it’s on and we’ve just got to make sure it stays on, rather than turning the switch on and off.”
And the OC, just like the casual fan, knows the areas that need improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
“Obviously keeping the quarterback upright,” Goodwin responded to a reporter’s question asking what the team needed to do to improve in the second half.
“And what we did last week (versus the Atlanta Falcons) was good,” he went on. “Running the ball, and keep that positivity up running the ball and I think our running backs are good enough that we can keep doing it.”
Now, as the Cardinals had into their bye week, which coaches believe is perfectly-situated at the midpoint of the season, the offense seems set to progress in the second half of the season.