Who would have thought in August that the Arizona Cardinals would lead the NFC in points allowed as the 2020 NFL Season nears its halfway mark?
Well, after six weeks of the season, the Arizona Cardinals defense sits atop the NFC in points allowed at 112 total. An average of 18.6 points per game. Of course, this number could be lower had the Cardinals not dropped into prevent defense in garbage time against a meager Dallas Cowboys offense on Monday Night Football.
Not only do the Cardinals boast the best scoring defense in terms of points allowed in the NFC, only four AFC teams have allowed fewer points. And of those four AFC teams, three of them have had a bye-week, with only the Baltimore Ravens bettering the Cardinals through six games.
The team allowing the fewest number of points? The Pittsburgh Steelers, who have allowed 94 points through five games, for an average of 18.8 points per game. This means the only NFL team that has allowed fewer points per game on average than the Cardinals are the Ravens, with 17.3 points allowed per game.
And yes, we can let the critics talk. The Cardinals have played against the likes of Dwayne Haskins, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco in recent weeks. They played the worst scoring offense in the league, the New York Jets, before facing the Cowboys in week six. A Cowboys team that is forced to go the rest of the way without star quarterback Dak Prescott.
Okay, now let’s consider the following. In week three, the Cardinals were forced to play with backup safeties alongside a banged-up Budda Baker. They were down to their fourth and fifth options the following week in a blowout loss to the Carolina Panthers. Then they lose star pass rusher, Chandler Jones, for the season.
Not to mention they also lost edge rusher, Devon Kennard, for a pair of games, meaning they were down to their third and fourth options at edge after Jones left the contest against the Jets with a biceps injury. So just as the Cards have played banged up and inferior offenses, injuries have ravaged their defense which has included the loss of its star player.
And even if the critics continue to voice their opinion to downplay the Cardinals stellar track record in 2020 regarding points allowed, they have an opportunity to silence those critics if they keep a cooking Russell Wilson in check come Sunday. If the Cards hold the Seahawks and have a three-peat defensive performance, it should put the NFL on high alert that these aren’t the same old Cardinals.