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Interception Drought: Cardinals Still Seeking First Pick

Budda Baker was noting postgame Sunday how the Cardinals still didn't play a great defensive game against the Seahawks, but that it had been at least somewhat of an improvement over the previous week's effort against the Panthers.

"We left some plays out there," Baker said. "We don't have any interceptions. We need to try and get interceptions."

The safety isn't wrong.

The Cardinals have yet to make a pick this season. There was one in the hands of Tramaine Brock at the tail end of overtime Week 1 against the Lions, the one in which he infamously dropped. Baker nearly had one in Baltimore. Then rookie Byron Murphy crashed into D.J. Swearinger on a pass breakup that very well could've been a pick, and Murphy later almost got another one against the Seahawks.

“He’s a ball hawk," coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Murphy. "If you look back at what he did at Washington, the ball’s always near him. You’d like him to finish those plays, and I think he will once he gets a little bit more comfortable."

But none of those were actually caught, and the Cards still seek a turnover. For a defense that isn't forcing many three-and-outs, turnovers would be a key. The Cardinals have recovered a couple of fumbles, but again, picks are absent.

It just underscores the drought the Cardinals defense has been in for too long. In the preseason of 2018, the Cardinals forced a ridiculous amount of turnovers -- 17 in four games -- and the Cards had six interceptions in the first seven games of last season. But starting with the eighth game of last year, the Cardinals have had one pick in their last 13 games. That came in the 2018 finale, when David Amerson had an interception in Seattle against Russell Wilson.

This isn't even something that can be put on the absence of Patrick Peterson, since Peterson doesn't get a lot of interceptions given that teams don't like to throw his direction. But as good as Baker has played in his young career, he has yet to make an interception as a pro. D.J. Swearinger didn't come close to any interceptions before he was released. Murphy has yet to capitalize. In many ways, it's a tangible example of what this defense has not been able to accomplish a quarter of the way through the season.

CB Byron Murphy
CB Byron Murphy

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