A weekly look at what the Arizona Cardinals must fix:
The Cardinals' defense isn't used to seeing zeros under the sacks column, yet it’s happened twice this season, most recently Sunday in a win over Philadelphia.
Despite blitzing quarterback Nick Foles 19 times, they weren’t able to bring him down once. For the season, Arizona has seven sacks -- compared to 19 through seven games in 2013. With the meat of the Cardinals’ schedule beginning Sunday in Dallas, Arizona needs to figure out a way to get to the quarterback. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been sacked 17 times this season.
But Arizona is ranked last in sacks per pass attempt, according to ESPN Stats & Information, getting to the quarterback just 2.4 percent of the time. How bad is that? The next five worst teams have a combined nine wins. Arizona has six. Only one team has fewer than seven sacks overall.
The Cardinals need to stick to what works for them in order to turn around their pass-rushing woes: blitz, blitz, blitz.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cardinals have blitzed on 47 percent of dropbacks in the past two seasons, the highest rate in the NFL. But how does that translate to sacks? Even though it didn't work against Foles, the Cardinals have four of their seven sacks when blitzing and are holding opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 60.3 when blitzing compared to 66.3 when they don’t blitz.
The Cardinals need to stick with what's getting them the most production, and that's blitzing.