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Cardinals struggles on D not due to lack of blitzing

When Ray Horton took over as defensive coordinator he
promised to bring pressure on a consistent basis.

While the defense as a whole has been largely ineffective,
Horton himself has kept to his word.

According to Mike
Sando’s ESPN NFC West Blog
, the Cardinals get sacks
twice as frequently when sending five or more rushers,
leading to a lower rating for opposing QBs.

However, Sando notes that the numbers do not mean the
Cardinals should blitz more frequently, and in a way the
numbers show that.

The Cardinals have sent four or fewer rushers on 96 pass
attempts, with opponents completing 60.4 percent of passes
for an average of 8.5 yards per attempt. The Cardinals
have been burned for three touchdowns in these situations
while coming up with a pair of picks. Opposing QBs have a
quarterback rating of 89.5 in these situations.

Send five or more rushers, though, and Cardinals give up
fewer yards per pass (7.4), but the QB rating doesn’t drop
much, falling to 85.4.

What’s the moral of the story? Well, the Cardinals defense
struggles whether the team blitzes or not, and just
because there are extra rushers doesn’t mean they’re
actually getting to the quarterback in time to make a
difference.


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