The Cardinals are coming off a game in which Philip Rivers -- short passes and otherwise -- completed 28 of his 29 throws to set various records as the Chargers rolled to a win. It wasn't ideal, as coach Steve Wilks talked about the need for better defense ("We've got to do a good job defensively of really hugging up to our coverage, being tighter, contesting throws, being in position to make plays on the ball" he said after the game) and Rivers did mostly take what the Cardinals gave him. The Cards also made some significant moves in game (benching Bene Benwikere for David Amerson) and after (cutting Benwikere and officially moving Amerson into the starting lineup.)
None of that was good. But in an NFL world in which passing records are being shattered, where a ton of quarterbacks are going to have passer ratings of more than 100 when that number used to mark a great season for a QB (13 QBs have a 100 passer rating, another 10 guys are over 90, which used to be a good season), completions are going to happen.
As the list above shows, the Cardinals are giving up 72 percent completions, and only two teams are worse. But it's the "best" teams that are astounding -- the fact the Ravens are the top team in defending the pass and are still allowing more than 60 percent completions is a crazy number. As recently as 2006, the entire league's completion percentage was below 60 percent. This season should easily set a record for highest completion percentage as a league. It's hard to be a DB out there.
"You could say that," Amerson said. "With all the rules – not being able to touch guys, not being able to be as physical – you can point the finger at the odds are against the defensive backs. At the end of the day, there are no excuses. You've still got to get it done. You've got to find a way to get it done. You've just got to adjust."
It doesn't mean the Cardinals' pass defense -- or any other team's pass defense -- shouldn't improve. But it underscores the league the NFL has become, and how the groundwork was laid for a Rivers-type performance.