Much has been made about the Cardinals’ strong fourth-quarters on offense — particularly by the quarterback — but of late, the defense has arguably been even better.
In the fourth quarter and overtime of the last three games, which included two come-from-behind wins and the no-margin-for-error game in Cincinnati, the Cards’ defensive unit has been 2000 Ravens good. In those three total quarters (plus a Browns’ overtime possession), the Cards haven’t allowed a point. They have allowed just three first downs and the Niners, Browns and Bengals didn’t convert a single third down. Over 41 total plays, opponents gained just 106 yards.
The Cards also forced three fumbles which they recovered, forced 13 punts in 19 possessions, and allowed their offense to win or at least have a chance.
Combine that with how the offense comes alive late, and it’s little wonder the Cards have been able to win so many in dramatic fashion.
Overall, the Cards have the stats to back up how they turned the corner defensively since their second-half meltdown in Baltimore. Starting with the next week (the overtime win against St. Louis at UoP), the Cards are 12th overall in the NFL in yards allowed per game, first in red-zone defense, third in third-down completion percentage, third in touchdowns allowed and seventh in passing yards allowed per game.
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