(Photo Courtesy: azcentral)
The early season struggles continue for the Arizona Cardinals as the Los Angeles Rams came to Glendale and escaped with a 17-13 victory, knocking the Cardinals to 1-3 on the year. The Bird Gang struggled offensively, turning the ball over five times, and couldn’t get the win against a division rival.
Here are five things we learned from the Cardinals’ loss:
Slow Starters: The Arizona Cardinals are four games in to 2016 and have yet to score a point in the first quarter. A point. They have been outscored by their opponents 27-0.
“We want to score in that first possession. It hasn’t happened for us like it has happened in the past,” Bruce Arians said.
Palmer Injured: The Cardinals suffered a blow in the 4th quarter when quarterback Carson Palmer was hit and had to leave the game. He is going through the league’s concussion protocol.
Arians went on to say they will be “very, very careful” proceeding with Palmer, and the team is confident with backup Drew Stanton running the offense.
The One Where Chandler Sacks The Quarterback: In the offseason, the Cardinals sent over a 2nd-round pick and Jonathan Cooper for Chandler Jones so he could enhance the pass rush.
He has done just that.
Jones, as well as linebacker Markus Golden, have gotten off to historic starts when it comes to getting to the quarterback:
Now Markus Golden & Chandler Jones are only players in Cards history w a sack in each of season's 1st 4 games #LAvsAZ
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) October 2, 2016
Jones found success rushing from different positions along the line, whether it be on the edge or as an interior lineman.
“I played a lot of defensive tackle today,” Jones said. “I’m not foreign to it. I played it a lot in New England. The coaches asked me to do that and that was my task at hand.”
“It’s just some different looks. I don’t want to come in and have it predetermined or for (offensive line) to predict where I am. I’m just trying to change it up a little bit.”
Where There’s Smoke…: John Brown, the one they call “Smoke” had a quiet first three games in 2016 – just 18 receptions for 92 yards. Well, a fire was lit at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday and Smoke was everywhere with 10 receptions for 144 yards.
This big game was not a surprise to his head coach.
“John Brown looked good for three weeks,” Arians said. “He’s had two to three great weeks of practice. It’s finally showing up in games.”
Carson Palmer threading the needle to find @Jwalk_back12.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 2, 2016
No Rest For the Weary: The Cardinals suffered a division loss to the Rams and Palmer’s status is unclear as he goes through concussion protocol. To add to the early season struggles, The Bird Gang has fly to Santa Clara to take on San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
“We are not panicking. We are going to show up for work tomorrow because we have a game Thursday night against a very good team in San Francisco,” Arians said. “We don’t have time to dwell on this, we don’t even have time to watch the film.”
Arians said he is disappointed in the team’s 1-3 start, but it is a long season and a tough stretch to open the year won’t dictate the entire 2016 season.
“I would much rather be hot in December. We’ve been hot in September a few years and not hot in December, so we need to start warming up.”