Most 4-13 teams are lucky to rank in the top half of the NFL in any statistical category, but the Arizona Cardinals managed some decent rankings across the league in some. The Redbirds offense, per Pro-Football-Reference, ranked 19th in the league, finishing ahead of playoff teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, their points for total finished near the bottom, as Arizona put up just 330 points on offense, ranking 24th in the NFL. We talked about their rushing offense numerous times, and after 17 games, they ended up fourth with 2,365 yards. It fueled a team that struggled in the passing game, which garnered just 3,144 yards, finishing 26th.
As for conversions, “Big Red” had a 39.1 success rate on third down, finishing a solid 14th. However, you can’t say the same for their fourth-down conversions, as the Cardinals ranked 27th in the league with a less-than-stellar 44.1 rate.
No, the Cards weren’t a great team in any phase of the game, except for when they ran the ball, but they did finish eighth in the league in converting 61.4 percent of their red zone opportunities for touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals offense was halfway decent, defense pedestrian
While the Cardinals put up some respectable numbers in some categories on offense, you can’t say the same about their defense. We knew they were bad just from the eye test, but did the real numbers and rankings more than just solidify that fact?
Once again citing Pro-Football-Reference, Arizona finished 25th in total defense, having given up a whopping 6,047 yards. This made them one of just eight teams to allow 6,000-plus yards defensively. Despite their passing defense seemingly putting up some ultra-poor performances, Arizona ranked just 13th in the league, giving up 3,613 passing yards all season.
But don’t take that 13th ranking and run with it, because unlike some final statistics on offense, this was more of a product of poor rushing defense. Yep, the Cards allowed 2,434 rushing yards, putting them at a “sparkling” 32nd in the NFL.
The Arizona Cardinals also ended the year allowing a higher percentage of third-down conversions than the rest of the league with a rate of 47.3 percent. They were, however, efficient at preventing fourth-down conversions, tied for eighth in the league after allowing 46.7 percent of them.
As for their red zone defense, it was pretty bad, having allowed touchdowns 60.6 percent of the time, or the ninth-highest in the league. Therefore, other than their solid fourth-down conversion rate, there was little to like about the Cardinals final rankings on defense, and they show us where this team needs a lot of help.