3 winners and 3 losers through the Arizona Cardinals first 13 games

The Arizona Cardinals are 3-10, but they have had their fair share of winners and losers throughout their first 13 games in 2023.
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) and tight end
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) and tight end / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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One would think a 3-10 football team would have little to get excited about, but there are quite a few winners on this Arizona Cardinals football team. When you look at numbers, entire position groups and units have fared rather well for the Redbirds, even if there are also quite a few drawbacks. 

Today, we’re going over the three winningest groups the Cardinals possess, but we’re also looking at some of the more trying units. You’ll see why there is more success on this team than their 3-10 record implies, and that will help set the stage for an even greater season in 2024. But you will also realize that this team still has a lot of work to do. 

Trey McBride
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Winners and losers through the Arizona Cardinals first 13 games

1 - Winner: Cardinals tight ends

While their TE1 at the beginning of the season, Zach Ertz, is no longer with the club, the Cardinals found arguably the most improved player at the position in Trey McBride. McBride is currently leading the team with 56 catches and receiving yards with 610. His 75.7 catch percentage also leads all Cardinals players with at least 20 targets in the passing game. 

Elijah Higgins is another player who benefited, with four catches on eight targets and 49 receiving yards. Higgins has appeared in seven games and also logged one start since the Arizona Cardinals claimed him on waivers before the season began.

2 - Loser: Cardinals rushing defense

Through 13 games, the Arizona Cardinals rushing defense is one of the worst in the league. They have allowed 16 rushing touchdowns, 1,811 rushing yards, and 4.4 yards per attempt. Their 139.3 rushing yards allowed per game is second-worst only to the Denver Broncos, who have given up 149. 7 per. 

Four times this season, the Cards have allowed 179 or more rushing yards, with their worst performance coming in Week 12, when they let the Los Angeles Rams rumble for 228. Their best outing came in Week 1 when they allowed 92 yards, one of just two times they gave up double-digit numbers.