Broken tackles, although not calculated in traditional stat sheets, can be the difference between a five-yard completion and a 50-yard touchdown pass.
The inability to wrap up a ball carrier and allow the opposing offense to get extra yards can quickly turn a good or average defense into a bad one.
Footballoutsiders.com recently took at look at broken tackles and determined that the Cardinals secondary had some of the worst tacklers in the league last season.
Adrian Wilson was second in the NFL with 16 missed tackles and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had the highest broken tackle rate of any defensive back with 18.9% of his tackles being broken.
Wilson and Rodgers-Cromartie are not the only reasons the Cardinals defense allowed over 370 yards per game last year and ranked 29 in the league, but the inability to tackle did not help.
Combined Wilson and Rodgers-Cromartie missed 18 percent of their tackles, which certainly did not help a Cardinals secondary that fans trusted to make a tackle about as much as everyone now trusts Jim Tressel.
Wilson only missed two tackles in 2009, so his struggles in 2010 were a bit surprising and may only be a blip on the radar or a result of injuries.
In addition to acquiring a quarterback, the Cardinals’ secondary will need to improve their tackling for the team to succeed in 2011. First round draft pick Patrick Peterson might be just what the doctor, or Ken Whisenhunt, ordered.