No easy fix for Cardinals' floundering offense

LOS ANGELES -- Steve Wilks didn't need Yogi Berra to describe the Arizona Cardinals' offensive performance Sunday afternoon.

He handled it just fine himself.

"It's a little déjà vu from last week," Wilks said following Arizona's 34-0 blowout loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams.

Just like last week, the first quarter ended scoreless with Arizona running the ball and handling the run well enough to warrant optimism. Then everything fell apart. On Sunday, the Rams scored 19 points in the second quarter compared to the 21 by Washington last weekend. In both games, Arizona didn't score a point in the first half. They were then left to play catch-up, which threw the offensive game plan out the window.

If the Cardinals thought last weekend's offensive showing -- six points on 213 yards -- was bad, there may be few words to describe this week.

Arizona didn't score, managed just 137 yards -- 91 of which were gained through the first three quarters -- and totaled five first downs, which resulted in Arizona's worst loss since a 58-0 blowout at Seattle in the 2012 season finale. The Cardinals didn't cross the 50-yard line until late in the fourth quarter.

"We got our asses kicked," right guard Justin Pugh said.

In two games, Arizona's offense has produced just six points -- that's .75 points per quarter -- four third-down conversions, 350 total yards, 122 rushing yards and one touchdown.

The offense let the defense down two weeks in a row, quarterback Sam Bradford said.

"It's got to start happening now," Bradford said.

It'd be easy if there was one specific issue that needed fixing for Bradford and the offense. But there's a "multitude of things" to work on.

"I don't even know where to start right now," Wilks said. "We need to do a much better job running the football. We got to do a much better job protecting. Receivers got to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage. We go to convert on third down."

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald added first downs -- any first downs -- and sustained drives to the list of ways to fix Arizona's offense. A sustained drive that ends in a touchdown, Fitzgerald said, could turn into a good quarter, a good half and even into a string of wins.

Bradford said one way to get there is with explosive plays. But just two games in, frustration has begun to settle in.

"We didn't even give ourselves the opportunity to score points today," Bradford said.

Fitzgerald said he's frustrated by the lack of execution on even the most basic of plays.

Bradford's frustration stems from seeing the results the last two Sundays after fighting to get healthy for the past year.

"I think to put so much work and so much effort into getting back onto the field and then to play the way we have in the past two weeks," he said, "I think it's just really disappointing."

Neither Fitzgerald nor Bradford had a reason for why the offense hasn't performed the way it was designed to during the offseason, training camp and preseason.

Fitzgerald didn't see the Cards' issues coming. If he had, he would've tried to change them, he said.

But in 15 seasons, Fitzgerald said nothing surprises him anymore.

"I would say I'm just a little disappointed by the way things are going thus far," he said.

Adding: "We're two weeks into the season. We can turn this around."

Whether that can happen in a week or will be a long-term project is debatable.

Wilks believes the offense can be fixed by the time Arizona plays Chicago on Sunday.

"I think we got to find ways, number one, to generate positive plays on first and second down so we don't find ourselves in a third-and-long situation," he said.

Bradford, however, isn't as convinced.

"I think, look at the tape, see exactly what type of mistakes were made," he said. "I definitely think that certain ones were made today are correctable and fixable, and we're going to put in everything we have to makings sure it does get corrected."

There's plenty of work that needs to be done, plenty of issues that need to be addressed. No team in the NFL has scored fewer points than the Cardinals, and few have had as hard of a time gaining yards as them.

"Obviously, we're starting with zero points," Pugh said, "so there's a lot of room for improvement."