Arizona Cardinals: First Quarter Defense Analysis


Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) throws the ball as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett (90) defends during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If not for the Arizona Cardinals defense, the Cards easily could be 0-4.  Does that sound familiar?  Some could though make the argument they could be 3-1 if not for the defense given the fourth quarter they had in the opener against the St. Louis Rams.

This past Sunday though the defense made up for a poor first half with maybe the best 15 minutes of football it has had all season, getting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to turn the ball over twice to allow the Cards to come from behind and win 13-10.

Against the run, the Cards have been pretty darn good.  They shut Bucs running back Doug Martin down for the most part, allowing just 45 yards on 27 carries.  Against the pass?  Well, they’ve had their moments but they let quarterback Sam Bradford from the Rams and New Orelans Saints quarterback Drew Brees have their way. Detroit Lions quarterback  Matthew Stafford had his way in the first half in the Cards only home game to date.

They are giving up more than 22 points a game though.  Unless the offense wants to start scoring some points, this defense, which is definitely not as good as last seasons defense, will have a hard time keeping other teams in check enough to win games on their own.  This defense will need offensive help, if not for anything else, keeping them off the field more.  More bad offense means more time on the field for the defense.

Then there are the injuries.  The Cards have lost three linebackers to season ending injuries.  They get linebacker Daryl Washington back this week, so hopefully that will go a long way in helping to alleviate the depth issues.  The guys I am hearing names more and more being called every week are defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and linebacker Karlos Dansby.  Dockett had been kind of missing in my opinion lately so seeing him get some sacks is a very nice thing to see.  Dansby has been somewhat of a surprise to me to be honest.  I didn’t have a lot of expectations with him coming back but the Cards have needed him and he’s stepped in and done his job.