The defense has returned
During the first six weeks of the season, the Cardinals defense allowed fewer than three touchdowns per game. Since week seven, the defense had faltered, allowing 25.6 points per game.
Sure, they saw injuries all over the place. Safety Jalen Thompson has had a tough time staying on the field all season. Chandler Jones went down early in the season with a biceps injury. Then came the seemingly endless injuries to the defensive line. It should come as no surprise the unit struggled.
Finally, in week fourteen, the defense didn’t just return; they came, they saw, and they dominated. Especially Haason Reddick, who logged five sacks and three forced fumbles against quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy.
The Cardinals allowed just 159 yards, held the Giants to just three of twelve on third down. They allowed 10 first downs and just 81 passing yards. Their only hiccup came halfway through the third quarter when they allowed a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
Sure, it’s just one game and yes, it came against an anemic Giants offense. But why spoil the fun? The Cardinals defense dominated in a game that they were supposed to dominate. And that will create momentum as the Red Birds head into their final three contests.
What can we take away from the performance? Surely, the pass rush, which ravaged Jones and McCoy for 8 total sacks. The Cardinals pass rush has remained the defense’s strength all season, and they proved it in week fourteen. Word to Vance Joseph: Blitz, blitz, and blitz again.