The pass-rushing trio of Chandler Jones, Terrell Suggs and Cassius Marsh has been outstanding for the Arizona Cardinals defense
To say that the Arizona Cardinals defense has been struggling thus far this year would be an understatement. It would also be fair to state that Vance Joseph, the club’s new coordinator, has been a disaster. Optimists will argue that there’s still time for the group to turn things around, but the odds of that happening appear to be slim at this point.
One bright spot of the underachieving Arizona defensive unit has been the performance of the edge rushers. The pairing of Chandler Jones and free agent pickup Terrell Suggs has been as good as advertised. Cards management believed that the duo would be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, and it certainly seems that the organization was correct in it’s thinking.
Jones has once again been outstanding for the Cardinals, recording three sacks, nine quarterback pressures and eight solo tackles in four games this season. The former first-round pick is also severely underrated, a point that was proven when the veteran was left off of the NFL Network’s top 100 list for 2019. Jones was spurned, despite the fact that he tallied 13 sacks, 49 tackles and four passes defensed in 2018.
The 36-year old Suggs, a seven-time Pro Bowler with the Baltimore Ravens, is proving that age is just a number. In four appearances for Arizona, the 6’3, 265 pounder has racked up 3.5 sacks, six pressures and 17 tackles. Suggs has been well worth the one-year, $7 million contract he was handed back in March.
In late August, the Cards benefitted when the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jadeveon Clowney in a trade. Cassius Marsh was no longer needed in the Pacific Northwest because of the deal, but the Cardinals welcomed the outspoken edge rusher with open arms. The 27-year old has been excellent in the desert, totalling nine solo tackles, three pressures and a sack in a reserve role for his new squad.
As you can see, not every aspect of the Arizona defense has been poor in ’19. The pressure being supplied off of the edge by Jones, Suggs and Marsh has undoubtedly been a major plus. Now, if only the trio’s production can rub off on some of the other Cards defenders.