TEMPE, Ariz. -- One byproduct of Arizona hiring Bruce Arians was an increase in points scored.
Through 15 games, the Cardinals have already topped their output from 2010, 2011 and 2012. They’re on pace for the fifth-most points in franchise history and it mainly has to do with one addition.
“Good quarterback,” Arians said. “Other than that, we left a bunch out there but should’ve been even better. But we’re getting better.”
Arizona has scored 359 points this season, more than its 289 in 2010, 312 in 2011 and 250 in 2012. The Cardinals’ 17 points Sunday against Seattle were their fewest since September, a run of 10 straight games scoring 20 or more.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said the more points this season are a result of Arians’ play calling and the coaching staff’s teaching. In turn, it’s helped Arizona steadily improve on third-down efficiency throughout the season, hitting 50 percent or better in three of its last five games. But Fitzgerald pointed to first downs as the primary reason for the increased scoring.
Until Sunday, the Cardinals had 24 or more first downs in four of their last five games. In their first 10 games, the Cardinals averaged 19.4 first downs per game .
“That’s extending drives,” Fitzgerald said, “and giving us the ball longer.”
It’s been a direct correlation to scoring more points. Arizona averaged 29 points in its past five games compared to 21.4 in its first 10.
“Has a lot to do with the quarterback,” Fitzgerald said. “Anytime your quarterback is out there and he knows where to go with the football, he can make all the throws that helps out tremendously and Carson [Palmer’s] done that all season.”
2013: 359 (through 15 games)