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Arizona Cardinals pass defense rebounds vs Lions

Statistically it is still one of the best units in the league

Christian Petersen

After getting destroyed 58-0 by the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals defense did not look like the dominant unit that it has been much of the year. Against the Detroit Lions, it rebounded and showed why it has been highly touted. The run defense is still so-so, but against the pass, Arizona is very, very stout.

With three interceptions on Sunday, Arizona took over the league lead in picks. They have 22 as a team, one more than the Chicago Bears and two more than the New York Giants. Overall in turnovers, they have collected 32, which is good for fourth in the NFL.

Want more proof that the Cards' pass defense is pretty special? Look at the QB rating allowed. They are tops with a 68.0. Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and the Jets are the teams that round out the top five.

Opposing quarterbacks completely a lower percentage of passes against the Cardinals than most other teams. The opposing completion percentage is 54.5, which is third in the league. They are only behind the Houston Texans and New York Jets.

Other notes provided by the team:

  • The Lions entered last week's game with the NFL's #2 ranked offense and #1 ranked passing attack. Arizona's defense held the Detroit offense to just 312 total yards, over 100 yards fewer than its season average entering the game (413.8). The Cardinals held the Lions-who were averaging 307.6 passing yards per game-to just 228 net yards passing.
  • Lions QB Matthew Stafford was forced into one of the worst passing performances of his career and the worst since his rookie season in 2009. He completed 24 of 50 pass attempts (48%) for 246 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs and a passer rating of 37.6.
  • Stafford's 37.6 passer rating is the third-lowest of his career and lowest since 11/26/09 vs. Green Bay, when he posted a 30.5 rating as a rookie.
  • Yesterday's game marked just the second time in his career that Stafford threw multiple INTs in a game without throwing a TD pass. Prior to Sunday's game, the only other time Stafford threw for multiple INTs and no TDs in a game came during his first career NFL start. In that contest, Stafford threw for 0 TDs and 3 INTs against the New Orleans Saints on 9/13/09.
  • Stafford's 4.92 yards per attempt was his lowest output of the season and his lowest for a game since 10/31/10 vs. Washington when he averaged 4.71 yards per attempt. Stafford's 4.92 yards per attempt ranked as the fourth-lowest output of his career for a single game.
  • After holding Stafford to a passer rating of just 37.6 on Sunday, the Cardinals defense has now held opposing QBs to a combined passer rating of 68.0 this season, the lowest mark in the NFL.
While the team still has strides to make against the run, it looks like the pass defense is taking care of things. This is why they match up well against good teams like the Patriots, Falcons and Packers. They are primarily passing attacks. They struggle against teams like the Niners and Seahawks. What did the Cardinals in against Green Bay was the fact that the Packers were able to run the ball so well.

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