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Arizona Cardinals getting more interceptions because defense 'is cumulatively better'

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton attributes his unit's 14 interceptions in 10 games to a defense that is better all around and more comfortable pressuring its opponents.

Scott Cunningham

Despite the team's losing streak, a bright spot for the Arizona Cardinals has been the aggressive defense. In 10 games this season, the Cardinals' defense has already intercepted four more passes than it did in all of 2011.

When asked about the spike in interceptions, defensive coordinator Ray Horton said, "I think everything is cumulatively better and we may not be the number one in red zone, but statistically we're better overall in everything."

The Cardinals rank fourth in the NFL in passing defense, holding opponents to 204.7 yards per game through the air. Patrick Peterson leads the team with three interceptions; Sam Acho, Kerry Rhodes and William Gay all have two picks each. The Cardinals have also forced 11 fumbles on defense, recovering eight of them.

"I think the guys are just more comfortable," Horton added. "I'm calling a lot more pressure. They seem to want it, so I'm just giving them what they want."

As a unit, the defense has 28 sacks and 27 tackles for loss this season.

The Cardinals are back in action this weekend against the St. Louis Rams in a game that kicks off at 2:25 p.m. MT from University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona is trying to snap a six-game losing streak and stay in playoff contention.