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Cardinals Not Yet Where They Planned To Be On Offense

Statistically, numbers are there but consistent results are not

Running back Chase Edmonds carries the ball Sunday in a loss to the Lions.
Running back Chase Edmonds carries the ball Sunday in a loss to the Lions.

Chase Edmonds offered up his apologies to Kyler Murray after he took a shallow cross Sunday from the 15 exactly 14 yards and coming up shy of the goal line.

It should've been a touchdown, the running back insisted, and a TD pass for the quarterback.

"Plays like that eat me up," Edmonds said Tuesday.

Of course, it would've prevented another Murray highlight TD run, which came on the next play. Besides, it wasn't that drive or play that really should or will create angst for the offense. There are still plenty of other misses that indeed have cost the Cardinals, who are still trying to find consistency three games into the season.

"I think we have a ways to go," tackle D.J. Humphries said.

Not all is off. After three games a year ago, Murray had been sacked 16 times. This year, that number is only six. Murray has been electric when he has run the ball. DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL in catches and yards. The Cards have averaged almost 150 yards rushing per game and another 256 passing. They've scored 25.7 points a game.

But penalties have set them back, much more often than should be. Murray, who took care of the ball most of the season as a rookie, already has five interceptions, and his trio against the Lions was the game-changer in the Cards' lone loss.

The Cards still haven't gotten a huge game from running back Kenyan Drake or found a rhythm for Larry Fitzgerald – things that were considered givens coming into the season.

"I wouldn't say frustration," Edmonds said. "I think it's more urgency. We need to be a little more urgent. We know the type of talent we have in this offense. We know the numbers we can put up. Obviously, these first three weeks, it hasn't been what we thought it could be.

"We think we can be a Top 3, Top 5 offense in the NFL. We have to find a way to make it happen."

Murray, because of the turnovers, took the blame in the loss to the Lions. To be sure, it wasn't his best game. The Lions found a way to pin him in the pocket much of the game, stripping his ability to scramble as much, and Murray was not as efficient as usual as a thrower.

There were times, long stretches even, where it seemed like the Cardinals would be able to do whatever they wanted Sunday when they had the ball. Then it would disappear.

It was painfully obvious in the fourth quarter, with a three-and-out that couldn't flip field position and then the beginning of solid drive that petered out after two straight passes to fourth receiver KeeSean Johnson.

"It's a matter of staying the course," Humphries said. "Even once it is clicking, it is work to continue clicking week in and week out every day and every practice.

"When I am trying to find consistency," Humphries added, "it's about taking ownership and doing right every phase of the week, not just waiting until Sunday."

Coach Kliff Kingsbury was taking blame Sunday and Monday for some of his playcalling choices, but the Cards have found multiple ways to stall themselves at times. For instance, there was the fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 31 that the Cards wanted to go for, and Kingsbury had backup QB Chris Streveler in no doubt for some sort of short running play.

But there was confusion, and then a timeout. When play resumed, tight end Dan Arnold flinched into a false start. The Cardinals still converted a long field goal, but it felt like an opportunity missed.

"I think it's important for everybody to take a critical look at themselves, especially coming off a loss," Edmonds said. "When you have wins, a lot of times certain things get brushed under the bridge."

BAYLIS SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD

The Cardinals signed tight end Evan Baylis to the practice squad Tuesday, filling a need after tight end Justin Johnson – just signed the practice squad last week – landed quickly on the Practice Squad Injured Reserve.

Baylis has been in five NFL games with the Packers and Texans, with time on the practice squads of the Colts, Panthers, Texans and Packers.

Images from the Week 3 matchup against Detroit.

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