We know the Cardinals won the game, but how did it happen? Let's find out and take a look at the stats that mattered in the Arizona Cardinals win over the St. Louis Rams. We've added a poll this week for you to decide which stat mattered the most.
By winning their eleven game of the season (the most for the Big Red since the original Cardiac Cardinals, who finished their 1975 season at 11-3), the Cards secure a playoff spot barring the unlikely event of a tie between the Eagles and Cowboys this Sunday. Arizona moves to 3-1 in the NFC West and 8-2 in conference play.
Points Scored 12-6
We figured it would be a defensive battle, and it lived up to the billing. By allowing a total of six points, the Cardinals defense has now allowed 17.4 points per game this season. Ranking 3rd in the league before last night's game, the Big Red may very well move up on that list pending the outcome of this weekend's games. For those interested, the Cardinals move to 10-4 against the spread this season.
Total Net Yards 274-280
Practically even in the second consecutive Cardinals' victory that wasn't decided until the last sixty seconds. The league average for total net yards is 351.3 yards per game.
First Downs 13-13
With a league average of just over 20 first downs per game, another indicator of a defensive battle. Ranking 5th in the league defensively in this category before the game, once again the Cardinals figure to move upwards after week 15 in the NFL. Third down efficiency of just under 30 percent for both teams was yet another sign that the defenses came to play.
Net Rushing Yards 143-69
The second consecutive game in which the Big Red rushed for over 140 yards (both victories), and a phase of the game where improvement couldn't have come at a better time. The 69 yards allowed rushing was the Cardinals 3rd best performance of the year and drops the season average to 90.4 yards per game -- yet another ranking that figures to move up (currently 6th). In games the Cardinals have out-rushed their opponents this year, the team sports a perfect 8-0 record.
Net Passing Yards 131-211
Who needs major passing yards when your team suddenly finds a running game to go along with a stingy defense. The average in the National Football league this year is 240.0 yards per game net passing yards. Amazingly enough, the second week in a row that the Cardinals rushed 33 times and passed 30 times.
One fumble recovery by the defense and one interception on a Rams's Hail-Mary pass on the last play of the game. This marks the second game in a row the Cardinals have not turned the ball over (both victories). With under one turnover per game (13 in 14 games) and 25 takeaways, the Big Red may very well improve on their ranking of 3rd in the league in turnover differential.
Time of Possession 34:24-25:36
A by-product of a productive running game and a stingy defense that allowed only four of 15 third-down conversions to the Rams (27 percent). The Cardinals are nearly even in time of possession for the year at 29:57-30:03 per game.
Now let's take a look at player stats
Going a perfect 4 for 4 with field goals of 23, 44, 51 and 46 yards and accounting for all the Cardinals points, the Cat Man raises his season totals to 26 for 30 (86.7 percent) in his rookie season.
Rushing for 75 yards on 15 carries and the Cardinals leading rusher two weeks in a row, Williams now averages 5.1 yards per rushing attempt in his brief Big Red career.
The second half of the Cardinal's one-two punch in the running game rushes for 61 yards on 14 carries (4.4 yards per carry).
Before going down, completing 12 passes on 20 attempts (60 percent) for 109 yards. With no touchdown passes or interceptions a passer rating of 74.8.
Although only totaling 30 yards, the seven receptions included two first downs for the Arizona Cardinals.
As the team's leader in reception yards at 55, his 49 yard grab was one of two catches that averaged 27.5 yards per.
The Snowman records four tackles (three for loss), one sack and a forced fumble to lead the Cardinals defense.
Larry Foote (3 tackles, 1 sack and fumble recovery), Jerraud Powers (5 tackles, 2 assists), Jared Veldheer (fumble recovery), Justin Bethel (4 special teams solo tackles).
For those interested in the relative value of statistical categories pertaining to victory, click here