Arizona Cardinals awful defensive play highly unacceptable
The Arizona Cardinals have way too much talent on the defensive side of the ball to be playing as bad as they have this season
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals should not be surprised by the club’s trainwreck of an offense. The unit that’s responsible for putting points on the scoreboard currently features a makeshift offensive line, a first-year quarterback and limited pass-catching options. In addition, the scoring attack’s plays are being called by a coordinator who was a coaching intern just two short years ago.
The struggles on the defensive side of the ball are far less excusable, however. Coordinator Al Holcomb’s group has way too much talent to be performing as poorly as they have in 2018. The beatdown taken by the defense this past Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons was just the latest example of how inept the defenders have been this season.
Running back Tevin Coleman, filling in for the injured Devonta Freeman, gashed the Cardinals for 145 rushing yards on just 11 carries. Thats a whopping 13.2 yards per tote for the Falcons’ backup. And Coleman isn’t the first second-string runner to have his way with Arizona’s run defense during the current campaign.
In week four, someone named Mike Davis pounded the Cards for 101 yards on 21 rushing attempts during a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Two weeks after that, the Minnesota Vikings’ Latavius Murray ran roughshod over the squad. The journeyman, substituting for the injured Dalvin Cook, racked up 155 yards on 24 carries during Minnesota’s victory over the Cardinals.
The point totals given up by Arizona in specific games have been troubling as well. There were 34 given up to the Los Angeles Rams, 45 to the Denver Broncos and another 45 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Atlanta also put up a 40-burger on the Cards, though six of that can be attributed to linebacker Deion Jones‘ touchdown on an interception return.
It’s not as if the Cardinals’ defense is devoid of productive contributors. Cornerback Patrick Peterson was just voted to his eighth-consecutive Pro Bowl. Defensive end Chandler Jones has amassed 40 quarterback sacks in 46 career contests with the Redbirds.
There are others who are also playing at a high level. Youngsters such as safety Budda Baker and linebacker Haason Reddick have been outstanding. Veterans like Antoine Bethea, Tre Boston and Corey Peters have shined as well.
Head coach Steve Wilks’ implementation of his 4-3 defensive scheme has not been successful. Holcomb is a first-time coordinator who has failed to make adjustments. Perhaps, with some better coaching, the Arizona defense could’ve lived up to the potential that it obviously has.