With San Francisco marching towards a game-ending drive in overtime, the Arizona Cardinals’ defense held its ground and made a stop at the most crucial time
Through three games, the Arizona Cardinals defense had surrendered 37 points in the 4th quarter. Of those points, 34 came in the losses against the Lions and Cowboys. It was an area of great concern, and something that needed fixing quickly.
Against the 49ers, they gave up zero 4th quarter points and only 15 total on the day (5FGs, 0 TDs). In all, Arizona is giving up 22.8 points/game. They have only given up more than 20 points in two games this season — their two losses.
This past week, they allowed Brian Hoyer to complete 24-of-49 passes for 234 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. He was also sacked 3 times.
The Cardinals defense also allowed less than 100 yards rushing, as the Niners accumulated 95 yards on the ground. With those numbers, they now rank 7th in total defense in the NFL after four games.
Badger making plays
Last week, I asked the question: What’s wrong with Tyrann Mathieu?
After his performance this past Sunday, it seems nothing is. Maybe he got my message.
The 25-year-old had his best game yet in 2017. He finished the day with a team-high 11 tackles, including one sack. It seems, at least for now, the Honey Badger is back.
Next man up — again
As reported earlier this week, Markus Golden has been lost for the season after tearing his ACL. In his absence, Kareem Martin will get the starting nod opposite Chandler Jones. Scooby Wright was also reactivated to the active roster.
With Deone Bucannon back as well, it would be nice to see rookie Haason Reddick move back into his more natural position of rushing the passer. With all the moving pieces, I imagine defensive coordinator James Bettcher taking more of a pass-rush-by-committee approach moving forward.
Eagles flying high
If the Cardinals want to leave Philadelphia with a winning record, they’ll have to first figure out a way to stop the NFL’s number three-ranked offense.
The Eagles currently sit at 3-1 after the first quarter of the season, and their offense is a big reason why.
Carson Wentz and Co. are averaging 392.5 yards/game. Ranking them 3rd in the league. Their passing attack (249 yards/game) is ranked 11th and their running game (143 yards/game) is ranked 3rd overall, respectively.
The X-factor in all this is 5th-year tight end, Zach Ertz. The 26-year-old Stanford product is off to a great start in 2017. He’s caught 26 passes for 326 yards, adding in 1 TD as well. At 6-5, 249 lbs, he is a match up nightmare, especially for smaller safeties that look to stop him in coverage.
Add in a bulldog of a running back in the form of LeGarrette Blount, who’s averaging 5.9 yards a carry and 1 rushing TD so far, and the defense will have thier hands full.
No longer division rivals, but a rivalry nonetheless. It will be interesting to see how the defense responds to a tough opponent on the road.