3 biggest takeaways from the Cardinals win over the 49ers in Week 9

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) James Conner
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) James Conner /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Markus Golden /

Arizona’s defense deserves more attention

When one looks around at some of the national coverage about the Cardinals this season, a bunch of it has to do with the team’s explosive offense. Rightfully so, however, since Arizona currently ranks second in the NFL in scoring with 30.8 points per game.

But the guys on the other side of the ball for the Cardinals are deserving of just as much recognition as well.

Arizona’s defense has taken a tremendous leap in their third year with Vance Joseph running the show. Joseph has the Cardinals ranking third in points allowed, fourth in yards allowed, third in turnovers forced, sixth in passing yards allowed, and fourth in sacks.

Arizona was recently forced to put defensive lineman J.J. Watt on injured reserve, and while his loss is a big one, the Cardinals have plenty of other defensive playmakers to make up for his absence.

Guys like Markus Golden, Jordan Hicks, Isaiah Simmons, Budda Baker, Byron Murphy, and Jalen Thompson have all been making a huge impact for Arizona on the defensive side of the ball all season long.

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So while the Cardinals’ offense is playing a big role in the team’s success this year, the performance of the defense is also a major reason why Arizona only has one loss this season.