First half of the 2014 Arizona Cardinals season: By the Numbers
Nov 6, 2014, 8:30 PM | Updated: 8:30 pm
The fairytale season for the Arizona Cardinals continues.
After a 28-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Cardinals now have a 7-1 record at the midpoint of the season.
Not only does Arizona have the top record in their division, but they now boast the best record in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the team’s first half, by the numbers.
The Cardinals have been very effective in third down conversions this year. Their 45.4 percent conversion rate places them fifth in the league. Arizona converted nine third downs against Dallas, including all four of the team’s touchdowns.
With their win over the Cowboys Sunday, the Cardinals are 4-0 against the NFC East this season. The last time the Cardinals defeated the Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Washington Redskins in the same season was 1984 while they were still in St. Louis. The Cardinals played in the NFC East from 1970 to 2001.
Getting pressure on the quarterback has been an issue for the Cardinals thus far. They have just eight sacks this season — tied for second fewest in the NFL. The team is on pace to have the fewest sacks in a season by a Cardinals team since the sack became an official statistic. Coming into the season, their lowest number of sacks in a season came in 2001, when they dropped quarterbacks just 19 times.
Arizona’s +10 turnover differential is second in the NFL, behind only the New England Patriots. The Cardinals’ six giveaways are tied for second best in the NFL, while their 16 takeaways are tied for fifth best.
The secondary’s ability to intercept passes is a big reason the Cardinals have been so successful so far this season. Arizona’s 12 picks are the most in the NFL. Antonio Cromartie and Jerraud Powers are leading the way with three each. Rashad Johnson has two.
With scoring plays from John Carlson, Jaron Brown and Marion Grice in Sunday’s win, there have been 12 different players to score for the Cardinals this season. Seven of them had not previously scored for the team.
The Cardinals’ record since Week 8 of last season, best in the NFL over that time frame.
Bruce Arians has a 17-7 record in his first 24 games with Arizona. That is the best record through the first 24 games for any head coach in franchise history.
Carson Palmer now has 18 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass, dating back to Week 3 of 2013. This puts him third on the franchise list of consecutive games with a touchdown pass, with Kurt Warner and Neil Lomax ahead of him. He’s also tied with Tom Brady for the fourth-longest such active streak in the NFL, trailing just Peyton Manning, Tony Romo and Drew Brees.
It’s been 40 years since the Cardinals last started a season with a 7-1 record. The last time the team had sole possession of the best record in the NFC this late in a season was in Week 11 of the 1974 season.
If there’s one thing the Cardinals have been excelling at this year, it’s closing out games. Arizona has outscored its opponents 70-34 in the fourth quarter this season. Only Kansas City has a larger scoring margin in the final quarter.
Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro has hit 100 percent of his attempted field goals and extra points this season. Catanzaro has scored 58 points off of 14 field goals and 16 extra points. The longest field goal he’s made was 51 yards against San Francisco.
Running back Andre Ellington is averaging 109 yards from scrimmage per game this season — good for seventh in the NFL. He has a total of 872 yards from scrimmage for the season.
The Cardinals are known for their aggressive rushing defense, ranked third in the NFL. However, on average they allow 287 passing yards per game, which is the worst in the league.