Arizona Cardinals: Biggest Preseason Disappointments So Far
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Halfway through the preseason, the Arizona Cardinals are 2-0. Halfway through the preseason, the Cardinals look like an inconsistent team that has an eerie feel like last season's squad.
Let's take a look at what's been disappointing for the team. There's a lot of it for a 2-0 squad.
The Cardinals Look Awful in the Red Zone in the Preseason
Arizona went 0-of-5 in the red zone in the win over Dallas. Add to that a 1-of-4 performance against Green Bay and the problem shows itself. It can be said that Arizona has run the offense with the second- and third-string players at times. That plays a role in the conversion rate. Arizona needs to be able to finish drives and not rely on placekicker Jay Feely.
Field-Goal Kicking Has Been a Problem
Feely hasn't been effective this preseason. The Cardinals are 5-of-9 on field goals. Two of the misses came from Will Batson, and he is no longer on the roster. Instead, Arizona signed Dan Carpenter to a one-year deal according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com.
Carpenter was brought in to give Feely competition and to push for the starting job. Feely said how he felt on Twitter.
This pairing happened once before in 2008 in Miami. Carpenter was an undrafted free agent and wound up taking Feely's job in Miami. Only time will tell whether Carpenter boots Feely again.
Regardless of who gets the job, Arizona needs to be able to rely on its kicker when the offense stalls out.
The Secondary Gave Up a High Amount of Yardage Against Dallas
Arizona gave up 314 gross receiving yards to Dallas. Once the team gets past Peterson, the coverage situation becomes muddled in the secondary. The Cardinals need to find a way to figure out how they will cover the second and third receivers on opposing teams. In the pass-happy NFL, this is an issue that needs to be addressed so the Cardinals don't have a disappointing season.
The Ground Game Has Been Inconsistent
Arizona gained 92 yards on 35 carries at Green Bay. They followed it up with 105 yards on 31 carries against Dallas. The math comes out to 3.0 yards per carry for the two games. That's worse than the 3.4 yards per carry figure they posted last season which was the worst in the league, according to ESPN.com stats.
Rookie Andre Ellington is the perfect example of the disappointment. Against Dallas, he had a 24-yard carry. On his other nine carries, he rolled up zero yards. He can't carry it for 24 yards every time he touches the ball. Ellington and the rest of the running backs need to be better than what they have been so far.
Despite All of This, the Team Is Still 2-0
How will Arizona finish the preseason?
Arizona has taken advantage of a plus-seven turnover ratio in their first two games to win both games. Having a short field helps them significantly. But it won't last forever, and neither will the wins.
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