Time for some NFC West football.
Things are cranking for you guys on offense. You're 11th in pass yards per game, 11th in rush yards per game and tops in the league in points per game. Is it a combination of multiple factors or is everything building off of one aspect that's relatively unstoppable?
This is actually what I believe Bruce Arians envisioned when he came. It might be the first time he coaches an elite offense. The pieces are in place. The line is solid. They have a stable of talented backs. Carson Palmer is playing at a high level and the receivers are talented. As long as the line continues to play at least decently, there is no reason why this production can't continue. Check that -- as long as there is good health and solid line play, this offense can be unstoppable.
Obviously coming off of holding the 49ers to just 7 points, the defense is going to look like they're improving. What the status on D compared to the early expectations?
Well, there are concerns with the pass rush. But they are stout in the secondary and very good up front against the run. So far, the only thing that has really been tough has been the screen game and that was taken away after the game against the Saints. They can be beaten in short, underneath plays, but that gets taken away in the red zone, when the field is shortened. The expectations were unknown, as there were questions as to how the team would look with new DC James Bettcher. It still looks really good.
How would you you attack the Cardinals' defense? How would stop that offense?
The screen game worked in Week 1. Short passes, dinking and dunking are the way to go. Attack deep after a while. Take what they give you and hope you can at least get field goals. Get in the red zone enough, you are bound to get in the end zone. But be patient.
The key to the Cardinals offense is keeping pressure off Palmer. If you can take the pocket away, he can make bad decisions. The pressure doesn't have to come from the edge. If you can knock him down enough and make it hard for him to set his feet, he will turn the ball over. That is what he has done his whole career.
Any concerns over Carson Palmer atop the mountain this season?
None, as long as he is healthy. He is playing at the highest level of his career. IT is the Palmer people thought we would see when he was the number one overall pick. As long as he is healthy, the confidence in this team is so high.
Just how high are the expectations rising for you guys? Back-to-back double digits in the win column certainly have to be pushing the bar higher into postseason victory demands, no?
Yes. Expectations have been raised. Making the postseason is a must and a postseason win is a must. Less than that and it will be a disappointment. As it is, many feel last season was what could have been a special season and it was wasted on Ryan Lindley. We know the window is not open for long. It is almost this year or never (although we think next year the window is still open).
Thanks to Jess for the time.