For two recent weeks—against the Jets and Seahawks—the Cardinals truly resembled their old defensive stalwart self. They held their opponents without a touchdown and showcased personnel groups virtually impossible to defend. Then in Week 8, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart barreled through the Cards’ defensive front on his way to 95 yards and two scores. There is no obvious rationale.

The Cardinals seemingly added to their already potent arsenal this off-season, signing outside linebacker Chandler Jones and drafting defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in the first-round. Nkemdiche has only played intermittently but Jones has been an absolute beast with five sacks. He’s one of the best off-season moves by any team.

At 3–4, the Cardinals are hardly out of the playoff picture. But the defensive inconsistency has been baffling and this group must find a way to coalesce every week to get there. 

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