Through seven games, the statistics would suggest the Arizona Cardinals have a notable problem behind center.
Carson Palmer has completed 60.5 percent (161-of-266) of his passes this season, however the 31-year-old has also thrown just eight touchdowns to go along with 13 interceptions, nine of which have come in the last four games.
Friday, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians
was quick to shift the blame from Palmer, who threw two interceptions in Arizona’s 34-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks a night earlier.
The offensive linemen weren’t without their problems Thursday night, as they yielded a season-high seven sacks and 13 quarterback hits in the loss.
However, Arians’ assertion that Palmer’s turnover trend has less to do with the former Heisman Trophy winner and more to do with pass protection or the receivers not making plays, has been a recurring one in recent weeks.
It’s a theme that the first-year coach backed off a bit following practice Monday.
“I think Carson’s problems, some are his and some are the 10 guys around him,” said Arians. “It’s not just the line. It’s the receivers running the wrong routes, not being in the reception areas. And then again it’s protection.”
Arians was asked why the offense as a whole has collectively struggled to come together in a timely manner this season, and he suggested that the question would be better served for one of the team’s wide receivers.
One of those receivers, Michael Floyd, said that the answer isn’t quite so simple.
“We get spurts where everything is clicking, but unfortunately for our offense sometimes it’s not,” Floyd said. “It’s frustrating. We’ve just got to come in, get it corrected and hopefully bring the corrections out to the field this week.”
The former first-round pick noted that a big emphasis this week, at least as it pertains to the receiving corps, will be on timing and securing the football regardless of whether or not it’s thrown in an ideal spot.
“I don’t think [the offense] is too tough,” said Floyd. “We hold our receiving corps to a high standard. We just have to be there at the right time and make the plays when the quarterback throws it our way.
“He’s not going to always make the perfect throw. But where our standards are when the ball is in our area, we have to come down [with it] for our team and our quarterback.”
Floyd and the Cardinals have a good opportunity to right the ship offensively Sunday, as their upcoming opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, have allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season, tied for second-most in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.