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PFF ranks Cardinals’ defense near bottom of NFL through Week 6

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) makes a catch as Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Haason Reddick (43) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Pro Football Focus ranked every NFL defense through six weeks and was not kind to the Arizona Cardinals.

PFF placed the Cards in 30th, only ahead of the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins, two teams with a combined one win.

Arizona has mostly warranted that rating as it has allowed the fourth-most points per game in the NFL and the third-most yards.

It is the only team that still has not had an interception in 2019, as its secondary has gotten run over by opponents.

Patrick Peterson’s return from suspension should help the cause. But, PFF pointed out a glaring issue with the Cardinals’ defense that the three-time All-Pro may not be able to fix.

There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about with the Cardinals defense before Patrick Peterson got suspended for the first six games of the season, and there was even less without him in the lineup over the opening stretch. Austin Hooper’s big Week 6 performance was only the most recent in a line of tight ends exposing the Cardinals in coverage. On the season, they have allowed 46 receptions, 599 yards, seven touchdowns, 29 first downs receiving and a passer rating of 150.8 to opposing tight ends. All those figures are the worst in the league.

In five of six games, the leading receiver on the opposing team against the Cardinals was the tight end.

The defense has had its bright spots, though.

The defensive line has applied good pressure and both Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs were ranked top-25 pass rushers by PFF.

But the Cardinals’ glaring weakness could be exposed again this week. On Sunday, Arizona faces the New York Giants, whose lead receiver is a tight end, Evan Engram.

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