TEMPE, Ariz. -- All it’ll take for the Arizona Cardinals to move from the run-based offense of the first half of this season back to the pass-happy personality of the previous three are a whole bunch of 22-yard pass plays.
Passes of at least 22 yards are what the Cardinals consider “explosive” plays. And this season, Arizona’s offense has been lacking those fireworks, forcing coach Bruce Arians to abandon the deep ball in favor of an intermediate passing game that’s sparked by a power running attack led by David Johnson.
“When we do have our opportunities, we have not, to this point, been able to make the plays that we’ve become accustomed to making in the past,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “We have to continue to work on those and be able to execute them, because it will change our identity pretty quickly because we haven’t had many of them on tape this year.”
The Cardinals have 18 explosive pass plays this season, which have produced just two touchdowns.cheap nfl jerseys
By comparison, they had 29 through eight games in 2015, which produced four touchdowns. By the end of the season, they had 51 explosive plays with 10 touchdowns.
“Teams are doing a good job of taking them away,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “We’ve been able to run the ball a little bit better that way, but getting those explosive plays, which we have a number we want to hit, is a key to our offense.
“As far as getting the enthusiasm going, getting the excitement going, getting chunk plays, getting everybody into it, as far the crowd or whatnot, those are pivotal. Those are key. We need them. We need to get back to that.”wholesale jerseys
Goodwin wouldn’t say exactly how many explosive plays he wants the offense to make every game, except that it’s more than five. The Cardinals are averaging 2.25 per game midway through the season.
In coachspeak, the Cardinals need to make those explosive plays.
In reality, Arizona’s vertical passing game has suffered due to a poor season by Michael Floyd and the health ailments of fellow receiver John Brown. Combined, they have three explosive plays this season, just as many as Fitzgerald. Johnson leads the team in explosive receptions with four.
If the Cardinals (3-4-1) want to reframe their identity in the second half, Floyd and Brown will be crucial.cheap jerseys
With the discovery that Brown is a carrier of the sickle-cell trait, team doctors and trainers have devised a plan to help him return to his old self, which is a 1,000-yard receiver. He appears to be on his way back. Quarterback Carson Palmer said Brown looks “so much better” since his diagnosis Oct 20.
As for Floyd, it’s just a matter of catching passes he usually hauls in. He has four drops through eight games, as many or more than he’s had in three of his four previous seasons. But Palmer has seen something in Floyd during practice this week that makes him believe Floyd is on the brink of returning to his former self, as well.wholesale nfl jerseys
“I expect this second half, Mike to have as big of a year as any receiver could,” Palmer said. “I’m not down on his confidence. He’s not down on his confidence.
“I think he’s going to explode in the second half and people have doubted, and said negative things about a couple individual plays. But that’s not Mike. Mike is a game-changing player. Mike is going to make plays that win games for us. I don’t know how many but it’s going to be a lot.”