Cardinals’ defensive numbers across the board impressive in 2021

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Today’s NFL gives much more attention to high-flying offenses. The Arizona Cardinals have one of those units, having scored over 30 points in six of their seven games this season.

However, as impressive as the Cardinals’ offensive attack this year has been, the defense deserves at least as much attention.

The Cardinals were expected to be great offensively with the development of Kyler Murray and the addition of more talent on that side of the ball.

The defense, though, has been nothing short of shockingly good.

They dominate in basically every important metric.

  • They have allowed the fourth-fewest total yards.

  • They have allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL — the No. 1-ranked scoring defense.

  • They are No. 1 in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert only 28.8% of the time.

  • They are No. 1 in fourth-down defense, allowing opponents to convert only 25% of the time and have a league-high 12 fourth-down stops.

  • They are No. 3 in pass defense.

  • They are No. 4 in passer rating allowed (remember that in 2019, they were dead last).

  • They allow the third-lowest passing yards per attempt in the NFL.

  • They are fifth in sacks with 19.

  • They have allowed the second-fewest rushing touchdowns in the league.

  • They are No. 1 in forced fumbles.

  • They are second in goal-to-go defense, allowing touchdowns only 50% of the time.

They are middle-of-the-road against the run, but that hasn’t mattered because of the offense. Teams aren’t really able to run the ball because they are trailing in games.

They have continuity in the system and more talent than in previous seasons.

The combination of their top offense and top defense, if this production continues, might make them the Super Bowl favorites by the end of the season.

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