Cardinals' rare struggles in the red zone responsible for both losses

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald blamed red-zone issues for Arizona's latest loss. Mark J. Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have been feast or famine in the red zone and the correlation between the two is reflected in the win-loss column.

Sunday's 25-13 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers was accentuated by some of the rare failures inside the 20-yard line for the Cardinals, who are a near-perfect 16-for-17 in the red zone in their four victories.

Conversely, Arizona has converted only 2-of-9 red-zone chances in losses to St. Louis and the Steelers and exacerbated those failures by committing three turnovers in each setback.

"Our issues are pretty simple to me," Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told reporters after Sunday's defeat. "We just have to be more effective in the red zone. We are getting down there, we have a ton of offensive red zone snaps. We just have to execute them better. Point blank, that is where it stops."

Moving the ball has not been an issue for Arizona, which ranks second in the league in scoring and is among the top five in total yards. The Cardinals outgained Pittsburgh 279-59 in the first half but were unable to deliver the knockout blow.

"If we are scoring touchdowns and we put 30 points on the board we walk out of here with a win," Fitzgerald said. "In both games we lost we did not execute in the red zone. So it is not a lot of problems we have to fix it is just one glaring one."

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