Kupp’s big game the second meeting (13-123-1) was in direct contrast to the MVP candidate’s worst game of the season – which was against the Cardinals when the teams played in Los Angeles in Week 4 (5-64-0).
That Rams game started a stretch of defensive showings where the Cardinals lost their consistency, and Joseph knows it. The Cards were seventh in the NFL with 27 takeaways, but they have made just one interception over the final five games. Against the Seahawks in the season finale, Joseph lamented that the Cards gave up 130 yards and three touchdowns on Seattle’s final eight offensive plays.
In the first 12 games of the year, the Cardinals gave up just eight plays of 30 yards or more. They gave up 11 in the final five games.
“Playing defense in this league is difficult but if you don’t play with great detail, if you make too many mistakes, it can look like it looked on Sunday,” Joseph said.
“The first two months of the season we didn’t give up big plays. It started against the Rams. We have to get back to playing clean football.”
As good as the Cardinals have been on offense, especially early in the year, it was the defense that stood out much of the time. Chandler Jones’ five sacks and stopping Derrick Henry on opening day. Byron Murphy’s pick-6 in Jacksonville. The goal-line stand against the 49ers. Backing Colt McCoy…