The Cards move to 10-3 and match their victory total from last season with three games remaining (all against division foes). The Big Red remain undefeated at home at 7-0, which is the most home wins in a single season since 1925 (11), a year in which the team played 13 of its 14 games at home. Arizona also remains unbeaten in the Bruce Arians era against non-NFC West opponents at home with a perfect 10-0 record. Maintaining a one game lead in the division as well as the number one seed in the NFC, the Big Red bounce back from two sub-par games, much to the delight of Cardinals Nation.
Points Scored 17-14
In typical Cardiac Cardinals fashion, a close game that isn't decided until the last minute goes the Cards' way. A defensive battle that saw the Cardinals shutout the Chiefs in the second half and sees the Big Red's defense move to 3rd* in the league at points allowed at 18.3 points per game. Offensively, just enough points to win and the 21.1 points per game falls to 22nd place in the league. Arizona currently stands at +2.9 in points differential, good enough for 15th place in the NFL. For those interested, the Cardinals move to 9-4 against the spread for the season.
Total Net Yards 366-390
Outgained but not by much, the Big Red move to 4-3 in games when being on the short end of total net yards (with a perfect 6-0 record when accumulating more yards than their opponents). At 325.3 total yards per game offensively, the Cardinals rank 23rd in the league and the defensive yards per game allowed of 355.4 ranks 17th. The Big Red rank 26th in the league with a -30.1 yards per game differential (not bad for a team with a 10-3 record and sign of a team that knows many ways to win).
First Downs 18-19
Nothing special for the offensive in a league that averages just over 20 first downs per game, but with 7 rushing first downs compared to 9 passing first downs, a balance that we haven't seen much of (two first downs came by penalties). Third down efficiency was very near the league average at 6-15-40%. With 246 first downs offensively being exactly matched defensively, with 18.9 first downs per game on both sides of the ball, the 0.0 differential ranks 19th in the NFL.
Net Rushing Yards 141-126
The best game this season offensively with 141 yards on 33 carries for an average of 4.3 yards per carry. With more rushing attempts than passing attempts (33-30), this is the second time this year this has occurred (Oakland). Taking into consideration that four quarterback scrambles for positive yards are counted as rushing attempts, the Cardinals dropped back to pass 34 times and handed the ball off 29 times. Improving the season average to 79.8 yards per game rushing, the Cards move up one spot to 30th in the league in this category.
Defensively, the second week in a row the team has allowed more than 140 yards on the ground (much of it coming in one 63 yard chunk), which drops the Cardinals defense to 6th ranked at 92.1 yards per game, while the differential of -10.3 for the season ranks 21st in the league. When rushing for more yards than their opponents in games this year, the Cardinals are a perfect 7-0.
Net Passing Yards 225-264
The 225 net yards passing for the Cardinals drops the season average to 245.5 yards per game and currently ranks 14th, while the 264 yards allowed nearly matches the team's 263.3 yards per game this season which now ranks 27th in the league. With a differential of -17.8 in this category, the Card's rank 22nd in the National Football League.
Five sacks by four different Cardinals for -29 yards move the Cardinals up to a tie for 15th in the league with 31 for the season and 2.4 per game. The two sacks allowed on offense leaves the Cardinals in a three-way tie for 7th in pass protection and the differential of +.8 sacks per game rates a solo 7th place in the league (when's the last time we could say that?).
Two turnovers generated by the defense (interception and fumble recovery) along with a not handing the ball over themselves, very much had to do with the final outcome on Sunday. Standing on 8 interceptions offensively (ranked tied for 5th) and 17 picks defensively (tied for 2nd), the Cardinals rank solo 2nd in the league in interception differential at +.7. Arizona has now forced 6 fumble recoveries for the season while dropping the ball 5 times.
With a league average of 6.7 penalties per game, the Cardinals' six flags for 40 yards was slightly better than the norm. With 79 penalties accepted on the Cardinals this year, the per game average of 6.1 ranks 9th best in the league. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were penalized for 75 yards on nine boo-boo's.
Time Of Possession 30:01-29:59
Can't get any closer without being even.
Now let's take a look at player stats
Passing for 239 yards on 15 completions on 30 attempts for a pass percentage of 50 percent is nothing to shout about. However, the zero interceptions with one touchdown pass was just what the doctor ordered and earned a 88.1 passer rating.
'Kerwynn Who?' debuts with a 100 yard performance on 19 carries (5.3 average) that had many Cardinals fans asking why this guy was on the practice squad. Williams becomes the first 100-yard rusher for the Big Red in the 2014 season.
What can Brown do for you? In this case it's Jaron, and his two catches for 48 yards including the 26-yard go-ahead touchdown.
The 36-yard catch and run helped seal the deal for the Cardinals in the 4th quarter. Average yards per catch? Thirty-six yards.
Four catches for 85 yards and an average of 21.3 yards per catch included a 45-yard reception was the team's longest offensive play of the day.
Twenty-six yard interception return helped turn the tide for the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter. Alex also chipped in with a sack and another tackle-for-loss just for fun.
Three tackles including two sacks and the tipped pass that Alex Okafor snared for the Big Red on Sunday earns Frostee a big snowman.
Three for five on field goals Sunday (longest 44-yards) with two memorable misses. The first bouncing off the right upright, then balancing things out with a boinker off the left upright in the fourth quarter.
All the other players with Cardinals stickers on their helmets in what was truly a team win!
For those interested in the relative value of statistical categories pertaining to victory, click here