Cardinals Come Back From The Brink

Posted Sep 18, 2017

As the minutes ticked away in the fourth quarter on Sunday, it was clear the Cardinals were perilously close to an 0-2 start to the season. But just how improbable was their comeback victory over the Colts?

As the minutes ticked away in the fourth quarter on Sunday, it was clear the Cardinals were perilously close to an 0-2 start to the season. But just how improbable was their comeback victory over the Colts?

ESPN has an algorithm that computes a team's win expectancy after every play. The Cardinals’ low point, not surprisingly, came as they stared down a third-and-20 from their 18 with 8:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. The deficit was already at 10 points, and before the snap, their odds of winning were tabbed at only 3.2 percent.

In a vast majority of cases, a team facing a third-and-20 will have to punt two plays later. If the Cardinals did that, it would have taken a perfect finish to win.

Instead, quarterback Carson Palmer found Jaron Brown for a 22-yard gain, and a roughing the passer penalty tacked on 15 more yards. J.J. Nelson caught a 45-yard touchdown one play later, and all of a sudden, the win probability jumped to 28.2 percent.

Once Phil Dawson connected on the overtime field goal, the Cardinals officially completed the biggest comeback on the young season, according to ESPN.

Latest By The Numbers

  • Adrian Peterson Brings The Power

    Posted 17 hours ago

    As Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes can attest, Adrian Peterson can still make guys miss. But it was his power that really stood out to me in Sunday’s monster 134-yard, two-touchdown performance.

  • No Woes For Opposing Kickers

    Posted Oct 13, 2017

    In what can only be explained as a statistical quirk, the Cardinals have been on the wrong end of some excellent kicking the past three seasons. Opponents were below league average on field goals against the Cardinals in 2013 and 2014, but have been kicking at a collective All-Pro level ever since.

  • The Other Overlooked Northern Iowan

    Posted Oct 13, 2017

    Everyone knows the story of David Johnson, the Northern Iowa running back that lasted until the third round of the 2015 draft before the Cardinals snatched him up. Johnson has proven to be a fantastic small-school find, and now the Cardinals are getting solid production from one of his college teammates. Defensive lineman Xavier Williams left Northern Iowa the same year as Johnson and latched on as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals.

  • The Added Threat Of DeSean Jackson

    Posted Oct 12, 2017

    Vincent Jackson surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a season six times in his career, but by last year’s meeting with the Cardinals, Tampa Bay’s veteran wideout was no longer a dynamic threat. It’s not a surprise the Buccaneers beefed up their pass-catching weapons this offseason, as it was clear during the Cardinals’ blowout win in Week 2 that wide receiver Mike Evans needed some help. Enter DeSean Jackson, the former Eagles star.

  • Can Haason Reddick Get To The Quarterback?

    Posted Oct 4, 2017

    Haason Reddick did a great job getting into the backfield in college. In his final season at Temple, the Cardinals’ first-round pick had 9½ sacks and 22½ tackles for loss. But there’s a reason he was drafted as an inside linebacker. Reddick is listed at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, which is much smaller than a traditional edge-rusher at the NFL level. However, with the season-ending knee injury to Markus Golden, he is now expected to be used on the outside in passing situations.

Add Your Comment:

Guidelines: Please keep your comments relevant to the topic and appropriate. Abusive or combatant comments towards other fans will not be tolerated and will be removed from display on this site. Use the "Report Abuse" link to help keep the Cardinals community at its best.