Photo: Getty Images/Dilip Vishwanat
On paper, the Arizona Cardinals look like the furthest thing from a perfect football team.The Kevin Kolb-led offence ranks 31st in the league and the defence ranks 17th in the league at 357 yards per game.
Yet, the Cardinals are one of just three remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, boasting wins over New England, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami.
So, how have they done it?
The big play.
The Cardinals lead the league in fumble recoveries and are second in sacks with 16 in four games.
Their defence lets up a ton of yards, but has made single, game-changing plays through the first four weeks of the season.
On Sunday against the Dolphins, the Cardinals forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter and overtime to stay afloat despite being torched for 251 yards and a score from wide receiver Brian Hartline.
The week before against the Eagles, a goal-line stand turned into seven points when they sacked Michael Vick and returned a fumble 98 yards for a score.
And the week before that, it was a blocked punt that put the Cardinals on New England’s two-yard line for a crucial seven points in what was ultimately a 20-18 victory.
Offensive lineman Daryn Colledge had a spot-on assessment of the way Arizona is being perceived to The Arizona Republic:
“We’re not the prettiest girl at the dance. We’re like a ‘four’ or a ‘five,’ but we dance like an ‘eight.“
The defence and special teams haven’t been perfect by any means, but they’re capitalising on small hiccups by opposing teams and putting their offence in a position to get easy points.
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