Repeated red-zone woes critical factor in Cardinals’ first defeat

Carson Palmer's 352-yard day went for naught in Sunday's loss.
Matt Kartozian/Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals led the league in scoring through three weeks due to a machine-like efficiency in the red zone.

Then came Sunday. The Cardinals moved the ball seemingly at will but continually bogged down in the red zone and had to settle for five field goals, which proved to be the difference in a 24-22 loss to the St. Louis Rams. 

"From (the) 20 to (the) 20, we moved the football,” Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told the team’s official website. “We ran the football. We threw the football. It was just we bogged down in the red zone. I don’t know what our total yardage was but it had to be around 400. 

"We were productive offensively, but the turnovers and the miscues in the red zone, it’s hard to overcome that in this business.”

The Cardinals were an off-the-charts 11-of-12 in scoring touchdowns in the red zones in their first three victories, so a drop-off was expected. However, they were only 1-of-5 against St. Louis and committed three turnovers to negate 447 yards of total offense.

“You’re not going to come in and go 90 percent against that team in the red zone, but you need to go 50 (percent) and we didn’t do that,” said quarterback Carson Palmer, who threw for 352 yards with one TD and one interception. “I didn’t make enough plays to help us win. When you’re the quarterback, you need to do that.”

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