Thursday, March 17, 2011
2011 NFL Draft: Cardinals' pass defense
By Mike Sando
The Arizona Cardinals allowed 12 touchdown passes last season on attempts that traveled at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage.
No team allowed more, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Three observations with the 2011 NFL draft in mind:
- Strong safety Adrian Wilson, at his best around the line of scrimmage even when healthy, played through a torn abductor muscle that required surgery. His coverage suffered. Perhaps it improves with a return to health.
- Teams throwing longer passes need time for their receivers to get downfield. The Cardinals' outside pass rush wasn't very good. So, while passing stats might suggest a team has issues in the secondary, Arizona could help itself quite a bit by landing an impact pass-rusher in this draft. The rush must improve.
- Arizona's entire team struggled. Pass defense was only part of the problem. There are other areas for the Cardinals to address -- quarterback among them -- that could produce more significant results.
The chart shows quarterbacks' passer ratings against Arizona in 2010 by how far the passes traveled past the line of scrimmage before caught.