ARIZONA CARDINALS

Jay Feely after Cardinals’ loss to Rams: ‘I don’t see a system’

Sep 17, 2018, 9:41 AM | Updated: 1:15 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford (9) throws against the Washington Redskins during the fi...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford (9) throws against the Washington Redskins during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Let the numbers show the Arizona Cardinals’ ineptitude on offense.

They’re allowing 6.1 yards per play to 3.7 themselves and have run an average of 24 fewer plays to their first two opponents this year, the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Rams. They’ve only earned 19 first downs to 54 for their opponents.

Arizona ran just one play on the opponent’s side of the field Sunday in a 34-0 loss to the Rams, marking the first time that’s happened since 2006. Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford completed 17 passes for just 90 yards, the lowest amount on at least that many attempts since the AFL merger.

The Cardinals are averaging 3.0 points per game.

Yes, it’s that bad for head coach Steve Wilks and his team, according to former Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, who joined Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“I don’t see a system that players believe in and know, or a core belief that you can rely on in a game when things aren’t going right,” Feely said Monday. “I don’t see coaches using players on either side of the ball and putting them in the best situation for them to succeed, and taking advantage of their skillset and allowing them to play football fast and physical. I see lots of hesitancy on both sides of the ball right now. I see guys who I think have a tremendous amount of talent not utilizing that talent.”

At the heart of the matter is Bradford, who is completing 61 percent of his passes for a paltry 3.98 yards per attempt. Part of it might be his receivers, who aside from Larry Fitzgerald have struggled to separate from defensive backs.

But with the Cardinals entering the Wilks era wanting to build a run-focused identity behind running back David Johnson, things haven’t gone as expected. Arizona has ditched the ground attack early in both games after falling behind, and Johnson has just 22 attempts for 85 rushing yards through two outings.

Johnson’s 3.9 yards per tote are right with Bradford’s passing averages.

But why not get Johnson, a talented receiver himself, involved in the air? He’s been targeted 11 times and has six catches for 33 yards so far.

“I put a lot of blame on (offensive coordinator) Mike McCoy as well,” Feely said. “(Former Cardinals coach) Bruce Arians, you knew exactly what the system was. You knew what you were trying to do every week. You knew what he believed in, what his core philosophies were. When you don’t have a system and you bounce around week-to-week, it’s hard for teams and players to know exactly what you believe and what you want.

“Saquon Barkley had 16 attempts in the passing game (on Sunday),” Feely added of the New York Giants running back, who like Johnson entered 2018 as a key piece for an anemic offensive unit. “Why aren’t you throwing David Johnson the ball and relying on your best player in the offense? I do think that receiving core is the worst receiving core in the NFL right now. There’s a lot of issues and it was ugly.”

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Jay Feely after Cardinals’ loss to Rams: ‘I don’t see a system’