The Arizona Cardinals had a very good defense last year, as the season went along things got a little worse, as teams were figuring out James Bettcher's blitzing packages as well as injuries making the unit as a whole less effective.
However, there was one portion of the Arizona Cardinals defense that was , dare I say, elite in 2015 and that is the subject of the ESPN Insider article brought to you by Football Outsiders (that's a mouthful).
Football Outsiders wrote an article about "Every NFL team's sneaky defensive strength," and if you have insider go over and check it out.If not, here is what Football Outsiders had to say about the Cardinals,
The Cardinals were far and away the best third-and-long defense with minus-97.6 percent DVOA, well ahead of second-ranked Houston and its minus-61.7 percent DVOA.
What's cool about a site like Football Outsiders is you can quantify things that usually you just see used as hyperbole, like "The Cardinals always seem to give up big plays on third and long,". This shows us, just how dominant the Cardinals defense was on third and long.
One thing we know about the Arizona Cardinals 2015 defense was they were extremely good at burying teams that were playing from way behind, whether that was situational or during big wins.
The Arizona Cardinals defense was special in 2015, their third and long defense was just one of many ways.