TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Carson Palmer has said that the offensive system of Arizona coach Bruce Arians is the most difficult he's encountered in his long career.
Four games into the season, it shows.
The Cardinals are sputtering on offense and while the quarterback always gets the brunt of the criticism when that happens, the Cardinals say there's plenty of blame to go around.
The 33-year-old quarterback, acquired from Oakland in the offseason, has completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,010 yards with only four touchdowns and six interceptions.
But it's the whole offense, not just Palmer.
Arizona ranks 18th in the league in passing, 26th in rushing and 27th in total offense.
After a promising start in a season-opening loss at St. Louis, the offense seems to have regressed. The Cardinals were scoreless for six consecutive quarters before rallying in the fourth quarter last Sunday to win at Tampa Bay 13-10.
After the latest performance, Arians called the offense "putrid" and said he'd never had a team take so long to learn his system.
The Cardinals have been especially inept on third downs, converting on just 1 of 10 tries against the Buccaneers.
"It hasn't been one issue, it's not been one problem," Palmer said. "It's something that we came in and spent a lot of time on Monday looking at it. Guys spent some time digging deep, looking at themselves."
Wide receiver Andre Roberts says there have been issues everywhere.
"'It's the whole offense," Roberts said. "He's (Palmer) not played well at times, receivers have not played as well at times, the offensive line, running backs. It's a team effort. Especially on offense, you've got to have all 11 guys on the same page."
Larry Fitzgerald agreed.
"Everybody has to do their part to make it go," he said. "The better routes we're running, the better we're executing our assignments, the easier it's going to make his job."
Sometimes players seem uncertain where they are supposed to line up.
"At times there's moments where there's a little bit of confusion," Fitzgerald said, "but I think guys overall are getting better at digesting things that are going on and this week hopefully we'll be a lot sharper. We're going to do some things to make it a little easier for guys to go out there and play fast."
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