Everything seemed to go right for the Arizona Cardinals during the first four weeks of the season. The offense was moving the ball well enough, the defense was stepping up in the red zone and the special teams units seemed to avoid the little mistakes that can change the outcome of a game. Most importantly, Arizona was winning.
The last four weeks have not been as kind to the Cardinals. As this article on AZCardinals.com explains, the defense has been letting up in the red zone.
"As a defense we have to just try to turn it up another notch," defensive end Calais Campbell said. "Giving up touchdowns doesn't win games. We know the difference. If we hold teams to field goals, we win. If we give teams touchdowns, we lose."
The Cardinals' defense allowed just three touchdowns and six field goals through the first four games of the season. In the last four, the Cards have surrendered seven touchdowns and just one field goal in the red zone.
The Cardinals are set to hit the road for Week 9 as they battle Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The odds of the defense having a big game seems unlikely given Green Bay's high-flying offensive attack, although Arizona could really benefit from Campbell and Co. knowing their backs are up against the wall.
In order to slow the Packers down, the defense will have to limit the passing game. Green Bay ranks 12th in the league with 255 passing yards a game, although it's been looking better and better in recent weeks. Look for Rodgers to test Arizona's secondary early and often on Sunday.