Vince Wilfork and New England’s defense played well on 3rd down for the Patriots on Sunday. (FILE:USPresswire)

Taking a look at New England’s defense on 3rd down yesterday, it’s tough not to give them credit for what was a strong performance after holding the Cardinals to just 4-of-14 on the afternoon.

Cardinals Quarterback Kevin Kolb combined for 5-of-10 passing on 3rd down (50%), but had just three passing first downs including a touchdown.

Here’s a breakdown of the situations they faced and the results:

Against Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb:

Situation 1: QTR 1: 3rd & 1 From the Cardinals 29
Result 1: 2 Yard Carry by Kolb – 1st Down

Situation 2: QTR 1: 3rd & 7 From the Patriots 39
Result 2: 12 Yard Completion to Early Doucet – 1st Down

Situation 3: QTR 1: 3rd & 3 From the Patriots 20
Result 3: Incomplete Pass to Todd Heap - Cardinals Kick a FG

Situation 4: QTR 1: 3rd & 8 From the Patriots 34
Result 4: Vince Wilfork is called for encroachment, which is a 5-yard penalty – No Play

Situation 5: QTR 1: 3rd & 3 From the Patriots 29
Result 5: Incomplete Pass to Todd Heap – Cardinals kick a FG

Situation 6: QTR 2: 3rd & 2 From the Cardinals 28
Result 6: Kolb sacked by Rob Ninkovich – Cardinals Punt

Situation 7: QTR 2: 3rd & 8 From the Cardinals 18
Result 7: Cardinals called for offensive holding – No Play

Situation 8: QTR 2: 3rd & 17 From the Cardinals 9
Result 8: Incomplete Pass to Todd Heap – Cardinals Punt

Situation 9: QTR 2: 3rd & 6 From the Cardinals 45
Result 9: 3 yard run by Kolb – Cardinals Punt

Situation 10: QTR 2: 3rd & 13 From the Cardinals 26
Result 10: 12-Yard Completion to Todd Heap – Cardinals Punt

Situation 11: QTR 3: 3rd & 5 From the Cardinals 44
Result 11: Incomplete pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling – Cardinals Punt

Situation 12: QTR 3: 3rd & 2 From the Patriots 2
Result 12: 2 Yard completion to Andre Roberts – Touchdown*
*In case you were unaware, the league credits a first down on a touchdown.

Situation 13: QTR 3: 3rd & 6 From the Patriots 25
Result 13: 9 yard Completion to Early Doucet – First Down

Situation 14: QTR 4: 3rd & 6 From the Patriots 6
Result 14: Incomplete Pass to  Early Doucet – Cardinals Punt

Situation 15: QTR 4: 3rd & 8 From the Cardinals 22
Result 15: Incomplete Pass to Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals Punt

Situation 16: QTR 4: 3rd & 13 From the Cardinals 35
Result 16: 2 Yard Loss by Ryan Williams, Brandon Spikes forces a fumble and the Patriots recover.

TOTALS:

Overall Opportunities: 14 (There were 16, but 2 Plays were erased by a penalty)
First Downs: 4
Passing First Downs: 3
Rushing First Downs: 1
Punts: 7
Sacks: 1
Forced Fumbles: 1

Here are some numbers from when Tennessee was in 3rd and long:

OVERALL NUMBER OF 3RD DOWNS WITH 6 OR MORE YDS TO GO:
Total: 8 Situations (2 were erased by a penalty)
Results: 2 Passing first Downs, 1 Rushing first down, 1 Sack, 3 Incompletions, 1 Turnover