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For Fitz, Age Is But A Number, And Other Cardinals' Numbers To Crunch

Prominent takeaways from the 2019 season

WR Larry Fitzgerald scores a touchdown against the Seahawks.
WR Larry Fitzgerald scores a touchdown against the Seahawks.

Larry Fitzgerald may not be the same dominant player he was during his athletic prime, but his consistency has been remarkable.

The Cardinals' future Hall of Famer finished with a team-high 804 receiving yards in 2019. He has now led the Cardinals in receiving at age 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36.

Anquan Boldin and Michael Floyd are the only two other players to lead the team in receiving since Fitzgerald was drafted in 2004. Christian Kirk, who finished second on the team with 709 receiving yards this year, was 8 when Fitzgerald pulled the feat for the first time.

With the season officially wrapped, that was one statistic that stood out. Here are some others:

  • The franchise was in bad shape at the conclusion of 2018, as its negative-200 point-differential was the worst in the NFL. Despite a rookie quarterback taking the reins for the second straight year, that number improved to negative-81 this season -- tenth-worst in the NFL -- including an average losing margin of only 3.3 points in the final 12 games.
  • The Cardinals' running game was the brightest facet on either side of the ball, averaging a franchise-record 5.03 yards per carry. Quarterback Kyler Murray led the way at 5.8 yards per tote, followed by Kenyan Drake at 5.2 and Chase Edmonds at 5.1.
  • Murray finished No. 15 overall in ESPN’s Total QBR, an all-encompassing way to rate quarterbacks. He finished ahead of every first- or second-year quarterback not named Lamar Jackson, as well as veterans Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff, among others.
  • The Cardinals' pass defense was the team's biggest weakness, as it finished No. 27 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. The Cardinals did make some strides down the stretch, as they were in the bottom two for much of the year.
  • The offensive line was ranked No. 10 in the NFL for ESPN’s Pass-Block Win Rate, as Murray's decision-making in the backfield was oftentimes more responsible for sacks than his blockers. A.Q. Shipley finished fifth among centers, winning 95% of his matchups.
  • The Cardinals were also top-10 in Pass-Rush Win Rate. While Chandler Jones played a huge role in boosting that number, defensive tackle Corey Peters had a solid year both stuffing the run and getting interior pressure.

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