Cards really (really) making most of turnovers

Posted by Darren Urban on October 1, 2015 – 12:27 pm

The Cardinals lead the NFL in interceptions after three weeks. They have seven (Mathieu 2, Peterson, Powers, Rashad Johnson, Bethel, Jefferson). They have yet to recover a fumble. On the other side, Carson Palmer has thrown two interceptions, and the Cards have lost two fumbles. Their plus-3 in the turnover ratio is fine, but not overwhelming.

What is overwhelming is how the Cardinals have dealt with both sides of the equation.

Of the four turnovers, the Cardinals have allowed a mere six points — the two field goals at the end of the first half in Chicago, despite the Bears getting the ball in the red zone twice after a Palmer pick and a J.J. Nelson muffed punt. Yet the Cards have turned their seven takeaways into 41 points. It doesn’t hurt that three of the interceptions have been returned for touchdowns, but the Cards have scored every single time they have stolen the ball. The ultimate underscore of this three-game stretch came against the 49ers. Palmer threw an interception — a bad one — near the end of the half. Yet Tyrann Mathieu picked the ball back moments later, setting up a field goal (on what was headed to be a touchdown drive if the Cardinals hadn’t run out of time.)

It’s a ratio that isn’t going to be sustained all season (you wouldn’t think.) But it’s a crucial way to give you leads in games, and yet another thing to point at with a 3-0 record.



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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Cards really (really) making most of turnovers”

  1. By Dynosoar on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    I recall the coach of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winning team challenging the team to have six pick sixes for the season. He believed if the secondary could do that they would win it all and they did.

    They had I believe ten interceptions all season, we’ve got seven after three games. If we keep this up…

  2. By D on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    This game Sunday is going to be a street fight..

  3. By Scott H on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Well, one thing is for sure – you hardly ever see teams that are that effective and efficient in regard to turnover’s sitting home in January!

    Think how lethal that is when a team is THAT efficient in making opposing teams pay for their mistakes. That seldom fails. either. Think about how often you see teams take the ball away, then either give it right back on a turnover of their own OR they just don’t do anything with it. And a few minutes later their punter is jogging onto the field. I’m quite sure I have seen plenty of this in years gone by during the many 5-11 seasons I’ve been witness to as a Cards fan! I remember those days. Damn nice to be on the right side of that now.

    My wishes for this week will include a big day for Johnson Brothers ( we know CJ is up to it! ) and two scores – either directly or in-directly – from the defense and ST’s. And if my man Fitz sees fit to put up another 100-yard game / with a score….well, then I guess I’ll be alright with that. But I’d also LOVE to see another WR step up and have a big day, too.

  4. By TucsonTim on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Our DB’s are a QB’s nightmare. Three more pics this Sunday? Well, that would be nice but after the first one they won’t allow Foles to throw down field anymore. Look for a steady diet of screens, swing passes and draw plays.

  5. By Joe C. on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, a couple years ago the Cards were terrible on screen plays. How have they been lately? Can’t say I recall any this year.

  6. By Darren Urban on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Joe C —

    RE: screens

    Running them or defending them?

  7. By Joe C. on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Running them. I think their defense has been pretty good all around! With the Rams front seven a well executed screen or two would be a nice play.

  8. By georgiebird on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    The Cards can’t keep up the current pace on offense (it is historical). As opposing defenses get better, it will be natural for the Cards offense to drop off a bit. What will be critical is the degree of drop off. If the Cards can run and throw for about 300 yds this week then it will continue to be a strong offensive group. However, if the Cards’ offense were to get shut down, the competition over the first 3 weeks will be called into question.

  9. By Steve on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: Have you had the chance to try a batch of some of Veldheers home brew yet?

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Veldheer

    I have not.

  11. By faster on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    looking at this blog i must diagnose post traumatic stress disorder for a lot of our fans, after last seasons injury reports, lol.

    and now let`s pray together: “let HIM stay healthy” (i hate “next man up” after last postseason).

  12. By clssylssy on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    I think the Rams are pretty cocky coming into this game, believing they have toppled the Seahawks, taken out big Ben, are are the division bad boys. Would so love to see our defense make short work of Foles, GURLEY, and their running game with a few more pick 6’s (what could be more demoralizing) and our offense prove that they are built to hold off all threats to our QB, while having a great time putting points up. I think that the fact that our guys were having so much fun without any outward appearances of really trying was as much of a weapon in defeating the 9ers psychologically as even the most creative package. The looks of dismay on the faces of the 9er players spoke volumes! Let’s go out there and do it again! I like BA’s trying to keep the team humble and reminding them they are ONLY 3-0 with so much more to accomplish. Nonetheless, it’s quite a ride for some of us old timers who are still needing to pinch themselves!

  13. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    If Cardinals OL controls line of scrimmage vs. Rams (which we might expect), should confirm this may be best Cardinals team…(will leave that timeframe blank).

    Noticed not a lot of talk/posts about projections for Cardinals season win loss record…funny when this just may be best roster…(blank). So, my projection for W-L? (blank – blank). Do expect 4-0 for first quarter of season 😉

  14. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply


    I don’t think a team that has not been even had an 8-8 season, much less a winning one, since 2006, and that is 1-2 this year after scoring only 16 points and getting only 23 first downs combined in their last 2 games, is going to be cocky. Their defense might feel they are good — and they are — but cocky is probably overstating it.

  15. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    I have not gone back to do any research but it feels like even when the offense wasn’t producing much during the Kolb/Skelton years, our D often held up well in the face of turnovers… opponent would get the ball on our 20 and end up with only a FG. Kinda feels like it’s been that way the past couple of years as well — very much a “bend but not break” D.

    The Chicago game was great, to see them only get FG’s — and if I remember right not even a first down — despite two gifts deep in our territory.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    faster –

    “must diagnose post traumatic stress disorder for a lot of our fans”, in different ways we said same thing, nobody wants to look ahead, b/c of fear of injury…probably a good thing…one game at a time… Go Cards.

  17. By Dynosoar on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    I’ve been enjoying the addition of “The Pasch Factor.” Darren, whoever had the idea for this, please give them my thanks and if you’re able to pass that thanks to Dave Pasch as well, so much the better.

    This team of Darren, Kyle and now Pasch is like our Cardinals, as good as it gets. Thanks.

    I liked his thoughts on Chris Johnson. From what I’ve seen, with Ellington and both Johnson’s we have as good a backfield as it gets. (And throwing in Stepfan is just an added bonus.)

    It amazes me how we’ve only allowed an average of 16.3 points per game and have averaged a score of 41 points per game. The Rams have allowed an average of 22 points per game and scored an average of 16 points per game.

    The pundits think we’ll win, but at a score of 16-12. Well, the average we’ve allowed is the same as the average they’ve scored, so let’s give them 16. But with what we’ve been doing, if it holds, I say this game is 38 – 16, win for the Cardinals.

  18. By Scott H on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    faster –

    I hear ya, brother. Have said the same many times. The “next man up” thing was OK for awhile last year. But we saw where / how it ultimately ends. There was a reason the Patriots and Seahawks played in the SB – because their first line playmakers stayed healthy. Period. SB teams are teams that stay healthy to the same extent that the Cardinals were ravaged by injuries last year.

    No more “next man up” for me, thank you. Seen enough of that movie. I like this one much better!

  19. By clssylssy on Oct 3, 2015 | Reply

    The reality of the situation really has little to do with whether the Rams “deserve”
    to be cocky. As a matter of fact there are those even on who believe that the Cards will suffer their first loss to the Rams in the desert because (according to Greg Rosenthal) the Cards so far have only faced three of the worst defense in the league, and will face and much tougher matchup against “a much better team(the Rams),
    I don’t think this is going to be a cake walk and as someone else pointed out, will be a real litmus test of how good we really are. I personally think we are a much more balanced team with more weapons, a better quarterback and better coaching with the Birdgang in our corner. Plus, we have continuity and experience on our side given our superior veteran leadership. I just want to see us go out there and have the time of our life playing smart, tough football, as a cohesive unit, getting those pick 6’s, and making those TDs to give us a victory.
    This year we need to be able to win all of our games at home and as long as we keep our head there’s no reason we shouldn’t! GOOD LUCK MEN, LET’S PROTECT THE NEST!

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