By the numbers: The Arizona Cardinals’ dominance during their 9-2 run
After 11 weeks of football, the Arizona Cardinals are atop the NFL standings at 9-2 as they now sit back and enjoy their bye.
This off week has to feel especially good, as Arizona has traversed a good chunk of its schedule mostly unscathed despite injuries and other types of adversity bearing down seemingly from week to week.
That hasn’t stopped the Cardinals from still giving it to the opposition, however.
A closer look at Arizona’s impressive play after 11 games:
Lucky No. 7
Arizona has had little trouble putting points up on the board, leading the league with seven games of least 30 points.
In just 11 games, the Cardinals have already tied their 2020 mark.
It’s a huge jump from the two combined 30-point games Arizona put up in 2018-19.
You can’t lead the league in scoring if you can’t find pay dirt. Sticking with the seven theme, the Cardinals pace the NFL with seven games with at least four touchdowns.
That success has translated into 310 total points scored, another high mark across the league.
The Cardinals have been no strangers to the big play in 2021, sitting first in the NFL in plays of at least 25 yards with 34. A league-leading 30 of those big plays came through the air.
Blow the doors off
The Cardinals have certainly had their moments offensively this season, posting four games of at least 400 yard and 30 points scored this season, a league high.
Arizona wasted little time putting the league on notice, putting up 416 yards against the Tennessee Titans in a 31-13 Week 1 win.
The Cardinals followed that up with a 474-yard, 34-point showing against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 before gashing the Jacksonville Jaguars to the tune of 407 yards and 31 points in Week 3.
Against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4, the Cardinals ran up 465 yards in the 37-20 victory.
Rumbling to pay dirt
For as much credit as the team gets for its passing prowess, Arizona’s ground game has been on another level this year.
The Cardinals are tied with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with 17.
Simply put, running back James Conner is a bad man, who is second in the league in rushing scores with 12.
Quarterback Kyler Murray (3) and running backs Chase Edmonds (1) and Eno Benjamin (1) have also contributed to the ground tally.
It hasn’t been just about finding the end zone, either, as Arizona ranks ninth in yards per game with 123.
Gettin’ stingy with it
For as good as the offense has been, the defense hasn’t been far behind in terms of league rank, allowing the fourth-fewest points per game with 18.4.
Of Arizona’s 11 games played, opponents have been held under 19 points seven times, including a 31-5 beatdown of the Houston Texans in Week 7.
Air traffic controllers
The Cardinals secondary has exceeded expectations so far in 2021. The defense has allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL with 204. Three of the team’s eight picks have come courtesy of cornerback Byron Murphy, who has impressed in his first season as the team’s unquestioned CB1.
Quarterbacks have clearly seen better days, as the Cardinals have allowed the seventh-lowest rating from an opposing quarterbacks perspective with an 86.5.
Rushing to conclusions
And if the secondary wasn’t causing enough problems, Arizona’s pass rush has been there to pick up the rest of the slack, currently tied for fourth in the NFL with 29 sacks.
The one-two punch of Markus Golden and Chandler Jones has been a force to be reckoned with, combining for 18 sacks on the season. Golden paces the team with 10, while Jones has eight. Linebacker Jordan Hicks is third on the team with three.
Good luck with that
The Cardinals have made it a habit of getting the upper hand on later downs this season, sitting third in third-down conversion rate at 32.6% (42-of-129).
And despite seeing the most fourth-down tries in the league (21), Arizona sits second in fourth-down conversion rate at 28.6% (6-of-21).