This game had nearly gotten out of hand when the Texans, up 21-10, were driving early in the third quarter. But the Arizona Cardinals defense held Houston to a field goal attempt from kicker Matt Ammendola, yeah, that Matt Ammendola, and he missed the ensuing kick, giving the Cards life.
It was the momentum Arizona needed to shut the Texans out in the second half, despite giving up 21 in the first, which ultimately decided the game. And while it’s getting old to say that the Cardinals are at least competitive, the defense took things to another level this afternoon.
They picked off Texans quarterback CJ Stroud three times, and if you were paying attention, he threw more interceptions in this game alone than he had all season. That required some grit from a Cardinals defense whose offense was stalling in the second half following a touchdown on their opening drive in the third quarter.
Arizona Cardinals defense showed epic resurgence despite loss
But the Cardinals did more than just make life tough for Stroud in the second half. They also sacked him four times for 29 yards, with Leki Fotu, Jalen Thompson, BJ Ojulari, and Dante Stills getting in on the action.
So this was a game the Cards defense, which had struggled in many games this season and looked trying in the first half, can build off of. And it can set the stage for the next two weeks with a pair of manageable teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose offense looked nearly as bad as the Redbirds did against Cleveland two weeks ago.
Overall, it was a tough loss to stomach, but the Arizona Cardinals defense was phenomenal in the second half of this one. Now let’s see if they can carry that momentum in this one into their next pair of games.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)