Thats fair While offense makes the highlight sh

first_imgThat’s fair.While offense makes the highlight shows, the cliché“defense wins championships” is around for a reason. Afterall, ifpeople didn’t have old-school beliefs that sound smart butare notaccurate to hang onto, what would they have?A half-truth.Three of the last six Super Bowl winners did so with eliteoffenses, but the Packers, Saints and Colts would not havehoistedthe Lombardi Trophy had their defenses not improved to thepointwhere they could actually stop somebody. The Giants — whowontwice — earned their rings via excellent defense, and theSteelers, well, we’re not going to talk about them.The point? A football team can win a lot of games with a gooddefense or offense, but will not win a title unless theother sideof the ball is at least decent.As of right now the Cardinals are halfway to where theyneed to be. – / 42 D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments   Share   Most people believe that however the Arizona Cardinals’QBs go this year, so will the team.The idea makes sense, but it’s wrong.While the QB position is indeed the most importantposition in sports, the Arizona Cardinals will besuccessful in 2012 for one very simple reason.Or, rather, 11 or so simple reasons at a time.The defense.Through just more than a week of camp so far the Cards’defense has a decided advantage over the offense. Everyonefrom defensive end Calais Campbell to head coach KenWhisenhunt have said that can be expected early on. “It’s been that case, been that way a lot of times becausedefense is more reactionary where offense is more learningwhat you have to do and being in the right spots,”Whisenhunt said Thursday. “But it all ends up balancingitself out, hopefully.”It won’t. Arizona’s defense, which finished 18th in the NFL fortotal yards allowed, 17th in passing yards allowed and21st in rushing yards — while giving up 21.8 points pergame — is going to be good. Damn good. Ray Horton’s group has dominated training camp not becausethe offense is terrible (though that could very well be apossibility), but because it is easily the most talentedgroup on the team.Think about it: the defense boasts two players who havemade the Pro Bowl in Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett aswell as three more who will make it at some point in thenear future in Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington andPatrick Peterson. Add emerging players Sam Acho, DanWilliams and O’Brien Schofield as well as solid startersin Paris Lenon, William Gay and Kerry Rhodes, and you havea defense with far more depth than holes.This isn’t to say the Cardinals will have a top-10 defensethis year. Wait, yes it is. center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Talent has not been an issue on the defensive side of theball for a while, and in Horton the team finally has acoach who can get the most out of his players. We saw thedefense evolve from a confused group to a confident oneover the final nine games of the 2011 season — seven ofwhich the Cardinals won — by giving up an average of 18.3points per game. They had allowed an average of 26.14 points per contestover the previous seven. Improve much? Yes.Room to improve even further? Absolutely.For all the good the defense did in 2011, it created fewerturnovers than just five other NFL teams. That will have to change if the Cardinals are to go frombeing a solid defense to an elite one. If it does, theCardinals will not only make the playoffs, but be a threatto go deep into them. The good news is it will change as the team’s passrush improves (see Acho and Schoefield), leaving thetalented anddeep secondary (hello, Patrick Peterson) tocreate more turnovers. While Peterson would like to pick off more than the twopasses he did as a rookie, that’s not exactly his goal.“I want to get to the point where teams don’t even want tothrow my way,” he said. Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img

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