For the first time in five years, the Arizona Cardinals have a problem.
Since 2013, the Arizona Cardinals have finished in the following places in a major defensive stat:
2013 - 1
2014 - 6
2015 - 2
2016 - 7
2017 - 1
This year, the Cardinals rank 31st.
That stat is Football Outsiders defensive rankings against the run.
That’s right, the Cardinals are the second worst team in the NFL against the run.
This is a combination of a couple of things.
First, the Cardinals linebacking unit is high key awful. Outside of Josh Bynes, no linebacker this year has played well until this weekend when Haason Reddick was pretty okay and had a nice statistical game.
Secondly, the Cardinals defensive line is one gapping and that means the linebackers have to make plays.
When you put two and two together, you get the worst, or second worst technically, run defense in the NFL.
Then, when you add to that situation an offense that runs less than five plays per offensive possession, and you have a recipe for disaster.
You have a perfect storm of a terrible run defense.
Can the Cardinals fix it?
That’s one of the many questions Steve Wilks and his staff have to answer now.