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A Statistical Look at the Cardinals’ 2010 Defense

The Cards must step up their defensive effort on the road in order to have long-term success this season.

Courtesy of stats compiled by ESPN’s Mike Sando, let’s take a look at some of the numbers regarding the Cardinals’ defensive play so far this season.

Home                       Away

1st Quarter PPG –        21.5                             31.7

2nd Quarter PPG –       5.0                               16.0

3rd Quarter PPG –       0.0                               7.7

4th Quarter PPG –        5.0                               3.3

First Half PPG –           26.5                             47.7

Second Half PPG –       5.0                               11.0

Rush TD –                    0.5                               1.3

Pass TD –                     1.5                               2.0

Non-return TDs –         2.0                               3.3

Net Yards –                  361.0                           396.0

Rushing Yards –            109.0                           162.0

Rushing Plays –             27.5                             35.7

Net Passing Yards –     252.0                           234.0

First Downs –               19.5                             25.3

Third Down Pct. –        34.6                             51.0

Red Zone Pct. –            22.2                             57.1

A few notes on the numbers:

  • The Cardinals’ defense is an entirely different team from half to half.  Arizona’s defense really turns it on in the second half, allowing only 16 points as opposed to a whopping 74.2 points in the first half.
  • 54.2 of those 74.2 first half points have been allowed in the first quarter, which has obviously been particularly rough for the Cardinals.  This may suggest that they don’t come onto the field ready to play, but need their backs against the wall to perform.
  • The Cardinals’ suspect run defense has been absolutely gashed on the road, allowing 162.0 yards per road game.
  • Arizona’s allowed third down conversion percentage is a drastically bad 51%, which means that the defense is on the field for very long stretches of time on the road.
  • Although the run defense is allowing a ton of yards, the defense allows less than a touchdown per game at home (0.5) and a little over a touchdown a game on the road (1.3).  This suggests that the defense tightens up on the run when they’re in the redzone.  The Cards, however, must improve their run defense in the remaining 80 yards of the field.
  • Clearly, the Cardinals’ defense has played better at home than on the road.  Arizona has allowed 868 yards and 74 points in two road losses against Atlanta and San Diego this season.  That is simply atrocious.


Check out this great story on Max Hall by Elizabeth Merrill over at ESPN.

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