As the Seattle Seahawks come to Arizona to face off with the division leading Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, I ask myself one question - how will Kurt Warner perform at home? After his 6 turnover performance at home against a struggling Carolina Panthers team just two weeks ago, the Cardinals and Warner arose with more problems in the same home that they had been dominant at in years past. The Cardinals had the best home record in the NFC in the last two years and it's also a place that propelled them into the Super Bowl last year. Kurt Warner had always played better at home, but this season it's been anything but that, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Let's dive into Warner's stats at home compared to road games, where he's been so great.
The baffling part is that Kurt Warner, who notoriously has struggled on the road in outdoor conditions, has murdered opposing secondaries. Away from home, he only has two interceptions, one being a hail mary against Seattle, while the other was an overthrown pass in New York. Other then that, Warner has been near perfect, completing 72% of his passes and throwing 10 touchdowns. The only thing I can determine is the difference in opposing defenses.
This season, teams that have rushed 4 defenders have had the most success against Warner. In that situation, he's throwing 65.6% of his passes and has also thrown the bulk of his interceptions with 7. The Panthers, 49ers, Texans, and Colts are all teams that can rush the passer without having to bring the added blitz. Is this a coincidence? I don't think so. In the three home losses, Warner was sacked 9 times, which obviously was a large factor in his poor performances.
One of the things that Warner has done successful, involves multiple tight end formations. When the Cardinals use 1 or less tight end formations, Warner is completing 63.15% of passes, with 8 touchdowns and 11 picks for a 72.85 quarterback rating. When they use 2 or more tight ends, he completes 81.75% of his passes for 3 touchdowns and 0 picks for a 117.8 quarterback rating. The added tight ends provide extra protection and more importantly, extra weapons in the passing game(2 tight ends scored last week in Warner's best game of the season).
Are the Cardinals trying to live up to fan expectations, or are they just inconsistent? Either way, this team will need to find a way to win at home if they want to make a push the second half of the season.