The Cardinals' 22 interceptions are second in the NFL, one behind Chicago. Their 33 takeaways rank fourth in the league. Their opponent passer rating (68.5) is first in the NFL and their opponent completion percentage (54.1) is second only to Houston (53.2). Their 37 sacks are tied for 10th. The defensive superlatives, however, do not include run defense. The Cardinals are 28th in the NFL in that category.
Still, Horton gives his defense a B-plus for its performance.
"Personally I would have liked to have seen a couple of shutouts and maybe a couple of other scoring opportunities that we could have helped the offense," he said. "Probably over the season I'd probably take back no more than five plays, less than a handful, that I would love to call again."
Horton said there was never a serious rift between the defense and offense, despite the stark differences in the performances of the two units. He credited the makeup of his team.
"They are highly motivated and inspired," he said. "They play for themselves, meaning they have a lot of personal pride in their performance."
Whisenhunt gave the defense an overall good review.
"You'd have to say the defense has played well," he said. "I mean, we haven't done as good a job against the run game as we need to, but as far as turnovers and keeping us in games and making plays and scoring, the defense has done a great job."
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx