A weekly look at what the Cardinals must fix:
When the Cardinals are on offense, yards are at a premium. Despite their 7-1 record, the Cards haven’t been flawless on offense, like when Michael Floyd tries to break a big play instead of taking the yards the Dallas Cowboys offered Sunday. But with a week for Arizona's coaches to review the film before the St. Louis Rams come to University of Phoenix Stadium, Floyd won’t likely be backtracking again.
After reviewing the tape, Floyd gave up critical yards on two plays when he turned backward instead of heading upfield.
With 10:55 left in the first quarter, Floyd ran a curl route for 11 yards. But after catching the ball at the 31, his momentum took him to the 32. If he had cut back toward the right, Floyd would’ve easily gained another 4 yards at least -- possibly even breaking free for a touchdown because the three Cowboys defenders who were converging on him were still behind him at that point.
Then there was the first down he gave up in the third quarter.
On second-and-9 from the Arizona 20, Floyd caught the pass right at the 26-yard line. With the first down at the 29, he needed 3 easy yards to move the sticks. While, according to the film, he could’ve either ran for the first down after making a slight move upfield or just dove for it, Floyd opted to cut back to avoid a defender. He ended up fumbling, but after he recovered it, he had only gained 4 yards, and Arizona was stuck with a third-and-5.
Big plays are nice, but moving upfield and getting those easy yards is, in these cases, easier.