NFL Wire News

Cardinals not resting on laurels during bye week


The Sports Xchange

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals won’t spend the bye week congratulating themselves for going 6-2 during the first of the season.

That’s because they believe the record should be even better.

They played poorly in their two losses, to the Rams and Steelers, and felt like they should have won.

“It’s frustrating,” said receiver Larry Fitzgerald. “Our lapses have cost us. We easily could be sitting here at 7-1 or 8-0 if we had played near the kind of football we’re capable of. We just need to make sure we’re doing what we need to do.”

What they need to do, Fitzgerald said, is play more consistently. He pointed to last week’s 34-20 victory over the Browns as proof. The Cardinals were horrible in the first half and trailed, 20-10, They were great in the second half, outscoring the Browns, 24-0, for the victory.

“We were two different teams,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s a 5-11 football team in that first half.”

On offense, the Cardinals have yet to play well for an entire game, by their estimation.

If that’s true, it’s scary how good the unit could be. The Cardinals lead the league in scoring, averaging nearly 32 points a game. They are third in offense and have gained more than 400 yards six times.

From 2010 through 2014, they gained 400 yards six times.

Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown 20 touchdown passes, more than any quarterback in team history through eight games. And running back Chris Johnson is on pace for a 1,300-yard season.

Yet, everyone on offense believes they are capable of more.

“If we’re rolling, we’re rolling,” said offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin. “And when we stink, we stink. We’ve got to stop stinking.”

The Cardinals will need to play better in the second half, because the schedule gets tougher. That begins with consecutive Sunday night games, at Seattle and at home against Cincinnati. There are also road games at St. Louis and Philadelphia, and home games against the Seahawks, Vikings and Packers.

“We’re sitting at 6-2, which is great,” Fitzgerald said. “If we can go this next eight games 6-2, I think we’d all be happy. We’ve got a really tough schedule coming down.”

NOTES: C Lyle Sendlein (shoulder) is expected to be the only player who might miss the Seattle game bcause of injury. Sendlein has a history of shoulder problems and suffered the injury against the Browns. A.Q. Shipley is his replacement. … CB Jerraud Powers (hamstring) is expected to play against Seattle after missing the Browns game. … WR John Brown (hamstrings) is expected to play against Seattle after missing the Browns game. … OLB Alex Okafor (calf) is expected to play against Seattle after missing the last three games. Rookie Markus Golden started in his place. … TE Darren Fells (shoulder) is expected to play against Seattle after missing two games.

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