We know who won the game, and we know it wasn't pretty, but how did it happen? Were the stats as ugly as it looked on the field and the final score? Yeah, pretty much when we take a look at the stats that mattered.
The Cardinals fall to second place in the NFC West by virtue of the head-to-head losses to the Seahawks. Just as importantly, the Cards fall to the 6th seed in the NFC, which would mean if the regular season ended today, the team would fly to Dallas for the opening round of the playoffs.
But the regular season doesn't end today and that trip to Dallas seems very unlikely after next week's games. First off, there's still hope for the division title (provided the Cardinals win in San Francisco next week) in the form of the St. Louis Rams (who are tough on divisional opponents) also winning in Seattle.
Short of that unlikely event, a Cardinals' victory over the 49ers would assure that the team moves up to the 5th seed (and a playoff draw with an NFC South team with a losing record). Even with a loss to the 49ers, the Big Red would still move up to the 5th seed barring a tie game between the Lions and Packers in Green Bay next Sunday.
Points Scored 6-35
The second consecutive game without a touchdown for the Cardinals and the second-highest number of points allowed for the defense this season (Denver/ 41). With 293 points scored on the season the Cardinals now rank 24th* in the league, and fall to 4th ranked in the league with 270 points allowed (18.6 per game).
Total Net Yards 216-596
The most yards given up in a game for the franchise since the 1958 Chicago Cardinals. While that sinks in, the 216 offensive yards is the second-lowest for the team this season (Seattle/204 earlier in the year). Amazingly, with a differential of -51.8 yards per game (ranked 28th in the NFL), the Cardinals have already clinched a playoff spot with an 11-4 record.
First Downs 17-23
Not as lopsided as the score would indicate (with four Cardinals first downs coming on penalties), but only one rushing first down for the Cardinals compared to allowing 10 of the same told a story. The Cardinals third-down efficiency of 3 of 15 for 20% didn't help a bit Sunday night.
Rushing Yards 29-267
In a season filled with poor rushing performances (8 games under 75 yards / 5 games under 50 yards), the Cardinals rushing game was all but non-existent. A grand total of 15 rushes for 29 yards averaged less than two yards per carry while the defense allowed the most rushing yards this season by a country mile. When you're out-gained on the ground by more than a furlong (220 yards), you know things didn't go well. The Cardinals fall to 30th ranked in total offensive rushing yards for the season while the defense slides all the way down to 8th place with 102.2 yards allowed per game.
Passing Yards 187-329
The Cardinals continue to give up too many yards through the air and now fall to 30th ranked in the league with 264.4 passing yards allowed per game. With 18 completions on 45 attempts for the Cardinals QB's (40 percent pass percentage), when you add in one interception and no touchdown passes it equals a passer rating of 46.2. Defensively, 21 of 32 for 66% and a passer rating of 121.7 now adds up the the Cardinals being 30th ranked in pass percentage differential in the NFL.
The second time this season allowing 4 sacks in a game, the Cardinals move down to a tie for 8th ranked in pass protection with 26 sacks allowed for the year. With a total of 34 defensive sacks, the Cardinals are still ahead of the curve and rank 10th in the league in sacks differential.
Time of Possession 33:03-26:57
Refer to third-down conversion percentage and total net yards above.
When it comes to stats that mattered, this stat didn't matter.
Normally, this is where we highlight individual Cardinal performances, but given the circumstances of a complete and total team loss, there's really no point in it.
* For those interested in the relative value of statistical categories pertaining to victory click here