Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Defense Can't Sustain Excellent Start And It Costs Cardinals

Dominate first-half performance gets lost in second half

Linebacker Krys Barnes brings down Giants quarterback Daniel Jones during the second half of the Cardinals' 31-28 loss on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
Linebacker Krys Barnes brings down Giants quarterback Daniel Jones during the second half of the Cardinals' 31-28 loss on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

Kyzir White could tell, as much as he didn't want to see it.

The Cardinals' defense had shut out the Giants in the first half of Sunday's game, but with a 20-0 lead, the linebacker noticed the unit's intensity it began the game with was morphing into complacency.

"I think when you get up 20-0 it might be a little natural instinct to think, 'Yeah, we got them,'" White said. "But it's the National Football League. Just like we scored 20 in a half, they scored 20 in a half. We definitely played with a lot of energy in the first half and in the second half, it's unacceptable and not good enough."

The Cardinals allowed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to go 17-for-21 for 317 total yards, and three touchdowns in that second half.

When a team gets outscored 31-8 in a half, they're typically not going to come away with a victory.

"Losing is rough, regardless if it's by 100, close game, comeback, or blow out, losing is tough," safety K'Von Wallace said. "We hate to see it, and this is not the standard. This is not what we accept, from the staff to the coaches, to the players. Everybody has to expect more out of themselves."

Jonathan Gannon agreed with Wallace's displeasure, and took much of the blame on himself.

"We know Daniel, coming in, extended plays, and that falls solely on me with that," Gannon said. "It's like 'Hey, we got to understand a little bit better and execute a bit little better.' It starts with me."

White, whom Gannon named a team captain, shouldered a lot of the defensive mistakes.

"You're disappointed because they couldn't move the ball in the first half and we could've went out and did the same thing," White said. "We're up 20-0, thinking the game is over and that's a bad mindset to have. I put that on me being in the middle of the defense and being a leader, but that won't happen again."

The defense held the Giants offense to 81 total yards in the first half, which included a Jalen Thompson interception. A pass to Saquon Barkley bounced off the running back and into Thompson's arms, one of many good things that happened for the Cardinals in the first two quarters.

It was a near-perfect first half for a unit that had a lot of question marks entering the season. But Thompson too could sense a shift in the defenses demeanor after halftime.

"It feels bad (to lose), but at the end of the day, we know there's more room for improvement," Thompson said. "I feel like we stayed together as a team through it all. I felt like that's going to lead down the road in the season. Staying as a team and staying together when things are not going our way. "