5 Stats That Defined the Arizona Cardinals 2012 Season
The world of sports revolves around statistics. Players are named to All-Star games or crucified because of them. They are the ultimate debate starter and are used in most of the arguments people have.
Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, their stat line was not pretty. This team put up some ugly numbers in 2012, leaving their fans with very little to debate about.
Arizona had a very promising start to the year, but their true colors were shown over the final 12 games.
It was a rough few months for Cardinals supporters as they watched their team slide down the power rankings with each passing week.
You can make plenty of excuses for this team, but it is not worth it. They have several positions that need to be upgraded and the front office needs to face up to that.
Here are five stats that defined the Arizona Cardinals 2012 season.
There are so many words that can be used to describe the Cardinals quarterback situation in 2012 and none of them are positive.
Kevin Kolb was not terrible in his five starts, but it went completely downhill once he was injured. The other three quarterbacks combined for three touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Arizona had by far the worst quarterback play this year, despite some great competition around the league.
A lot of blame can be put on Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Miller, but their performances were inexcusable.
The quarterbacks had very untimely turnovers that cost the Cardinals on multiple occasions. The team lost a couple of close contests that were ultimately decided by a fumble or an interception.
This really goes to show you just how bad the quarterback play was once Kevin Kolb went down to injury. People wonder how you go from beating the Pats to losing 11 of your last 12, well, this is a big part of the reason.
352 carries, 1,204 yards, 3.4 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns. No, this was not the stat line of one player, but for the entire team combined.
Ten players in the league had more rushing yards and seven players had more rushing touchdowns than everyone on the Cardinals.
Arizona used four running backs throughout the year and they all averaged less than four yards per carry. Beanie Wells led the way with five touchdowns, but only had 234 yards on 88 carries.
Some of this can be attributed to the poor quarterback play and awful playcalling, but three yards a carry is just sad.
While the future may be bright at the position, it is numbers like this that define the type of season that Arizona had.
In 2010 the Cardinals had Derek Anderson and Max Hall at quarterback. They followed that up with John Skelton and Kevin Kolb in 2011.
Over the course of those two seasons, Larry Fitzgerald caught 170 passes for 2,548 yards and 14 touchdowns.
This season, however, was a ton worse. Fitz caught just 71 passes for 798 yards and four touchdowns.
These were his worst totals since 2006 and the touchdown mark was a career low. Sure, he did drop a couple of passes that we are used to seeing him catch, but other than that, he has not changed.
Fitzgerald is still one of the best in the game. The numbers he put up this year should send a message to everyone about just how bad the quarterback play was.
You know you are in trouble when your punter is setting records. No, these are not the records that Andy Lee is achieving in San Francisco, either.
Dave Zastudil had a great year for the Cardinals in 2012, but then again, when you are punting the ball after almost every drive, it is hard not to.
The 34-year-old, who is heading into his 11th season, put up career-highs in punts, yards per punt, total yards and punts inside the 20. He also hit a career-long 70-yard boot in a game against the 49ers.
Zastudil averaged exactly seven punts per game. His 112 kicks were 23 more than his previous best of 89, which occurred when he was with Baltimore in 2003.
Saying that Arizona struggled offensively would be an understatement. We saw way too much of the punter this season and that needs to change in 2013.
Even though the offense was giving balls away like it was Christmas, they finished the year with just a minus-one turnover ratio.
This can be credited to the countless big plays that this defense made. When you needed a turnover, you could count on someone making a big play.
Patrick Peterson led the team with seven interceptions and Kerry Rhodes also picked off four passes. Sticking with turnovers, William Gay forced three fumbles on the year and four other players forced two.
Both Peterson and inside linebacker Daryl Washington were invited to the Pro Bowl for their efforts this past season.
These two players, along with several others, performed very well for the Cardinals defense last year. They have a ton of talent on that side of the ball and have a very bright future ahead of them.