Arizona Cardinals End of the Season Awards

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Calais Campbell is the player that holds the defense together

The Cardinals defense was mostly very good in 2016. They were in the top half of the league in points given up, sixth in takeaways, second in yards surrendered, and first in sacks. It was a unit that kept them in many games, when the offense faltered. Calais Campbell was a big part of that.

Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, Tony Jefferson, and Markus Golden all had notably good seasons, and others played well too, but it was Campbell who was the backbone. The veteran defensive end did it all, rushing the passer, setting the edge, and taking up blocks allowing others to make plays.

Campbell’s play didn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but he did have nice numbers for a 3-4 defensive end. He racked up eight sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, six defended passes, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception, and two touchdowns. He did it all, and made good things happen.

Campbell is yet another player the Cardinals have to make a decision on this offseason. He’s a free agent, and figures to get a nice payday. They should try and keep him. On a defense full of great players, Campbell made it go.