So much for the Sean Payton hype train that took the Arizona Cardinals by storm during the latter stages of 2022 and the first month of 2023. If you remember correctly, the Denver Broncos head coach interviewed with the Cards before he ultimately went to the Mile-High City. But at this point, you could argue that Urban Meyer would be doing a better job coaching the Orange Crush than Payton has done at this point.
It’s also interesting to point out that former Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph returned to Denver shortly after Payton’s hiring to be the team’s defensive coordinator. The much-maligned coach squandered talents like Isaiah Simmons during his time in the desert, and yesterday, he managed to add one of the most embarrassing stats in recent memory to his resume.
Joseph’s defense, somehow, allowed 70 points in an NFL game, something that hasn’t been done in nearly 57 years. Want more fun? The Broncos D also gave up 726 yards in a single contest, which is something that, until yesterday, you thought you’d only see in a video game.
Arizona Cardinals fans can rejoice that there’s a new regime in town
Sure, in the 2023 season’s early going, the Redbirds defense suffered a pair of bumps in the road when they allowed fourth quarter leads in Weeks 1 and 2 slip away, with their second-half collapse vs. the New York Giants giving the fanbase little-to-no hope heading into yesterday’s eventual win vs. Dallas. But the D finally came together, allowing just 16 points and for the most part, doing just enough to contain a Cowboys offense that features a star quarterback in Dak Prescott.
And despite the bad defense in the second half vs. the New York Giants, Nick Rallis’ unit has surprised us in the first three weeks of the season, allowing just 36 points in 10 of its first 12 quarters and 67 total. Contrast that to Joseph’s unit in Denver, which allowed a league-worst 122 points, or 40.6 points per game.
Thus far, the Redbirds are on pace to allow 380 on the season while Denver is looking at an inexcusable 690. While the latter probably won’t be the case and the Broncos D will certainly churn out at least a few solid performances, it matters not - Cardinals fans need to be ecstatic that owner Michael Bidwill got rid of the old regime that, had they remained in town, probably would have held onto Joseph.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)