The Arizona Cardinals haven’t blown anyone away defensively since the season started last week, however given the second half performance against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, there is reason for hope.
Do the Cards miss Ray Horton? Definitely, however Todd Bowles hasn’t been the worst defensive coordinator so far. On Sunday against the Lions, it appeared the Lions were going to run over all the Cards defense in the first half with running back Reggie Bush and receiver Calvin Johnson. Bush got hurt in the first half, so we needed got a chance to find out how Bush would do over the course of a full game. However with Johnson, he was non-existent in the third quarter, as was Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Johnson finished with 6 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. All of that damage though was in the first half. Stafford never completed a pass in the third quarter. Whatever the Cards adjusted at halftime, it worked. That’s what this league is all about, adjustments.
Rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu had another good day. He broke up a pass for a sure first down. He really can move around the field for an under-sized safety in the NFL. The defense also recorded their first sack of the season. They may have not gotten to Stafford time and time again but they were able to apply enough pressure to force the Lions into multiple mistakes. Defensive end Calais Campbell recorded the one sack and also recovered the Lions one fumble. If there were any lingering affects from his week one injury, it sure wasn’t apparent against the Lions.