Top 3 things the Arizona Cardinals defense must improve in Week 3

After playing an inspiring first half of defensive football, the Arizona Cardinals imploded and gave up a 20-0 halftime lead to the visiting NY Giants.
Arizona Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson (34) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants running
Arizona Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson (34) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants running / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Saquon Barkley
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Cardinals must limit the big plays

This game was a definitely a winnable one for the Cardinals, but too many big plays were allowed that led to the loss against the Giants. Everything fell apart in the 2nd half as the Giants made highlight worthy plays that allowed them to come back and win the game.

The fireworks began as soon as the Giants took possession in the 2nd half. On the first play, Jones launched a 58-yard bomb to rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt. On that very same drive, Jones ran to the end zone on a 14-yard run as he seemed to have confused the entire Cardinals defense as he went one direction and the Cardinals defenders went the other way.

During the Giants next possession Jones completed a 29-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton putting the Giants in Cardinals territory on a drive that led to another Giants touchdown. On the Giants 3rd touchdown drive, Jones made 2 huge plays to gain the momentum for his team. On 1st and 10 Jones hit Slayton again for a 15-yard gain.

On the very next play, he found tight end Darren Waller for 25 yards. Finally able to force a 3rd and 1 situation, Jones found Waller once again, this time for 14 yards as he kept the Giants drive alive.

The drive ended up ending with a spectacular catch and run from Barkley to cut the Giants deficit to 7 points.

The Giants next possession was pretty much a mirror image of the previous drive as the first 2 plays from scrimmage set the tone. Jones continued to torch the Cardinals with his feet as he took off for another run, this time for 15 yards. On the next play Jones found Hyatt for 31 yards. Just when Cardinals LB Krys Barnes made a stop for a 1-yard loss on 1st down,

Jones came back on 2nd and 11 and delivered another strike to Waller. The Cardinals defense tried to hold off the Giants but their offensive onslaught was too overwhelming as they surrendered the game tying touchdown as Jones found wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins in the end zone.

The Cardinals had an opportunity to get the ball back and recapture the lead, but they ended up going 3 and out and were forced to punt. The big plays continued for the Giants even on the game winning drive. An 8-yard pass to Barkley began the drive and he also picked up the 1st down the very next play on a run for 10 yards.

The next 2 plays sealed the deal as Jones found Slayton again for 18 yards near midfield. The very next play, Barkley gained 16 more yards on the ground officially putting the Giants in field goal range. With the defense void of veterans and with so many players with little experience, the coaching staff will have to have this team better prepared going forward.


(Statistics and game information provided by and Pro-Football-Reference)