Cardinals defense plays well against superstar quarterback

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Patrick Mahomes
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Patrick Mahomes /

The Arizona Cardinals defensive unit more than held their own this past Friday against Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

When the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit took the field on Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs, they did so without several of their best performers.

The growing trend around the NFL is to keep veteran players on the sideline during the preseason, whether they’re healthy enough to play or not. With that in mind, the Cards decided that superstars like J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones would not see action versus the Chiefs. Surely, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes would feast on an Arizona defense that was lining up without those extremely talented individuals.

To the credit of Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and his incomplete group, that didn’t happen. In fact, the Kansas City offense mustered just three points during the three scoring drives that Mahomes engineered during the nationally televised matchup.

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Arizona’s defense demonstrated a classic bend-but-don’t-break philosophy during their meeting with Mahomes and the Chiefs. Kansas City’s opening possession was a 15-play drive that ate up 8:20 of the clock. However, Mahomes and company dealt with tremendous resistance from a determined crew of Cards defenders.

Despite holding onto the football for over one-half of a quarter, Mahomes and his weapons managed just 57 yards during their time-consuming march. The Cardinals held tough, allowing just a 24-yard field goal when the drive finally stalled.

Joseph’s contingent was absolutely fantastic during the Chiefs’ second possession of the clash. This time around, it was a three-and-out that amassed just one yard and ate up just 1:26 of the opening quarter.

The last drive of the night for Mahomes was just as long as the first one. Kansas City’s offensive unit went on a 15-play jaunt that netted 78 yards and extended almost halfway through the second quarter. However, the Chiefs would come away with no points after a beautiful toe-tapping interception by Arizona cornerback Byron Murphy.

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Holding a stud like Mahomes to just one measly field goal in his 33 plays from scrimmage is quite an accomplishment. Playing that well against such strong competition should do wonders for the confidence of the Cards defense going forward in 2021.

(Statistics provided by ESPN NFL scores)