Cardinals looking for answers on offense after loss to Rams
LOS ANGELES — The Arizona Cardinals’ offense ran one play in opposing territory on Sunday, the last play of their 34-0 loss at the Los Angeles Rams.
Not surprisingly, first-year Cardinals coach Steve Wilks is considering making changes to get an offense that has scored six points in eight quarters headed in the right direction.
“I don’t even know where to start right now,” Wilks said. “It’s just we got to do a much better job running the football. We got to do a much better job protecting.
“Receivers got to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage. We got to convert on third down. We’re going to go back and evaluate things as a coaching staff, evaluate the players, make sure we have the best guys out there and put in the right position to make plays moving forward.”
The Cardinals had 137 yards against the Rams, 35 of which came on their final possession with Sam Bradford’s 8-yard pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones finally putting them on the Rams’ side of the 50.
They had five first downs, one in each of the first three quarters before their final and most successful drive of the game picked up the final two.
Bradford said the offense never gave itself a chance to score.
“I wish that there were one thing I could tell you that if we got that fixed it would be instantly better,” Bradford said.
“You know, I think there’s a lot of things that need to improve for us to improve and it’s got to start happening now. That’s two weeks in a row we’ve let the defense down, and I think we all understand we have to play better.”
David Johnson was held in check with 48 yards on 13 carries and was a non-factor in the passing game with one catch.
Larry Fitzgerald managed three receptions for 28 yards, only finding any sort of room to operate when lined up in the slot and away from cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. The offensive line was unable to keep the Rams’ touted defensive front at bay.
The Cardinals (0-2) did not have a run longer than 9 yards, and their longest pass play was a 15-yard gain by Fitzgerald.
For Bradford, who was 17 of 27 passing for 90 yards with one interception, he described it as a frustrating start in Arizona after playing in two games last season for Minnesota because of a knee injury.
“I think to put so much work and put so much effort into getting back onto the field, and then to play the way we have the past two weeks I think it’s just really disappointing,” Bradford said
Wilks said he never considered replacing Bradford with first-round pick Josh Rosen in the former UCLA star’s first game in Southern California as an NFL quarterback. However, Wilks did not rule out turning to Rosen, who was selected 10th overall, as some point during the season.
“When you look at the climate of the game and how it was going, I don’t know if he was going to make a difference there because, again, it just wasn’t one guy,” Wilks said. “It was several on both sides of the ball, in all three phases.”
While their offense remained stagnant, the Cardinals actually made improvements on defense following a 24-6 loss to Washington. They held the Rams (2-0) to 90 yards rushing after allowing 182 yards on the ground the previous week.
Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley averaged 2.2 yards per carry, needing 19 attempts to get 42 yards, though he did have three touchdown runs.
Wilks refused to assign blame for the loss solely on the offense, noting that the defense struggled to hold on third down or contain the Rams’ play-action passing.
“As I just stated in there, everybody needs to check themselves,” Wilks said. “We’re going to do that as we watch the tape and find a way to win a football game.”