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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jun 7, 2011 - 9:57 am

Why were Cardinals QBs running for their lives?

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson is sacked by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (52) during the third quarter of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz.

If it seemed like Cardinals QBs were constantly running for their lives last season, your eyes deceived you a little bit. But not much.

According to ProFootballFocus, Arizona ranked 22nd in the NFL in pressure-per-passing play, with a rush coming 39.25% of the time.

By their count, Arizona dropped back to pass 642 times, with pressure coming on 252 plays. Of those 252, 181 were credited to the offensive line, 26 to skill players and six to the quarterbacks themselves.

Of course, just because a QB is pressured does not mean he has to get sacked -- at least, for most teams not named the Cardinals.

Arizona allowed pressure to turn into sacks 17.86% of the time, ranking 28th in the NFL. Only the Bears, Seahawks, Ravens and Panthers were worse. Three of the four teams made the playoffs, further proving that in the NFL a good quarterback can make all the difference.

What does this mean for the Cardinals? Well, we knew their offense struggled in 2010, and rightfully pointed to the offensive line as a reason. However, a bad quarterback can make a mediocre line look much, much worse.

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