The Arizona Cardinals got a win to improve to 8-1 on the season. What do the numbers say?
Points scored 31-14
The most important stat of all of course and our 31-14 victory raises our scoring average to 24.8 points scored per game while dropping to 18.9 points allowed to rank 9th in the league in points differential.
Total Yards 335-244
While it's not required to out-gain your opponent (we've won 3 times already without doing it), two weeks in a row now we've seen that when we dominate in this category, combined with the other ways we find ways to win (see below), the games are over well before the 2 minute warning. The Cardinals are actually still below even for the season in this category - but who cares, we're 8-1 baby!
Rushing Yards 28-70
The good and the bad here. By allowing 70 yards we've dropped our defensive yards per game to an outstanding 78.6 yards (3rd in the NFL).
On the other side of the coin, our 28 yards (on 22 carries) of rushing offense was the lowest of the season. The 83.6 yards per game this season (ranked 29th) and 3.2 rushing yards per attempt (30th) clearly point to our biggest area to address (especially now with the looks of things with #3).
Passing yards 307-174
The numbers speak for themselves. Good game and the 247.3 offensive yards per game (13th ranked) and defensive 274.2 yards per game (30th) both improve.
It's been proven that out-performing your opponent in this category leads more often to victory than any category other than points scored (of course). Six of our 8 victories have been in games we had the advantage and this game served as an exclamation point. With an impressive low of 3 interceptions given away (tied for 1st) and 14 defensive interceptions (1st), we're at +11 for a differential that also ranks first in the NFL. Clearly, a very large part of our success this year. For more on relative category value see the link below.
We expected a test of our front 5 and kept the damage to 3 sacks (one of which when Palmer went down). The 6 we managed were a huge bonus and came at key times. We now improve to -2 in this category for the year (14-16).
Time of Possession 33:20-26:40
A category that's not critical but it doesn't hurt keeping the opponents offensive watching from the sidelines.
Before going down, Palmer threw for 25/36 (69.4%) with an interception and a 76.3 quarterback rating. Get well soon Carson.
Coming in cold off the bench our 'next man up' came through with 3/5 for 85 yards and the go-ahead 48 yard TD. Passer rating? 143.8
Not bad for an old guy when you catch 9 of 10 targets for 112 yards and 7 first downs.
And not bad for a young kid when you have 5 receptions for 73 yards (14.6 average) and score yet another huge touchdown that puts your team ahead for good.
Best game of the season by far with 2 interceptions. His first of the season came only shortly before his first-ever pick-six of 30 yards. Huge plays that sealed the deal.
They say that all good things must come to an end, but making your first 17 field goal attempts in your rookie year must tie some kind of record (it did).
The stat that counts
The big 'W' of course and now we sit at 8-1 with a 2 game lead in the NFC West.
Click this link if you're interested in the relative value of statistical categories relating to victory.