Arians' '6 bullets' fall short so far this year

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians started touting his “six bullets” mentality during his introductory news conference back in January.

He talked about going into games with six deep passes on the play chart and not wanting to come back to the locker room with any left. But the chamber's stalled once or twice this season.

The Cardinals have gone deep -- passes of at least 20 yards -- 20 times this season, and quarterback Carson Palmer has completed just three of them, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Arians was asked if his deep-play percentage was around 50.

“We’re nowhere near 50 percent,” Arians said. "We’re probably down around 20.”

Actually, it’s 15 percent, the lowest in the NFL for deep plays.

By now, the Cardinals should have 30 deep passes. Last week Arians said the Cardinals took seven or eight but didn’t hit any of them.

It’s frustrating for Arians.

“Very,” he said. “It’s a combination of protection in a few ball games, and guys were open and other times were not open, and we checked it down. I don’t mind the check-downs and teams have been playing us backed off a little bit more than normal and we’ll take the check-downs all the time.”