The much-maligned defensive unit of the Arizona Cardinals turned in it’s best performance of the season this past weekend
For the first six games of the current campaign, the defensive unit of the Arizona Cardinals showed very little fight. Coordinator Vance Joseph‘s crew had blown fourth-quarter leads in each of the past two contests, but the squad still managed to win both matchups. Would the Cards week seven clash with the New York Giants follow the same script?
Let’s just say that that Arizona’s defense may have learned from past mistakes. After trailing for the entire afternoon, New York had an opportunity on both of their last two possessions to take the lead. It was not to be for the G-men, however, as a suddenly ferocious Cardinals pass-rush would prevent that from happening.
When the smoke had cleared, a revitalized group of defenders had preserved the visiting Cards 27-21 triumph. Patrick Peterson‘s beautifully timed strip-sack put the kibosh on one Giants threat. On New York’s next and final possession, sacks by linebackers Terrell Suggs and Brooks Reed would put the final nail in the coffin of the home team.
Peterson’s tremendous effort against rookie quarterback Daniel Jones with just 2:35 to go in the fourth quarter was especially uplifting. The eight-time Pro Bowler, who had just returned to action after a six-game suspension, obviously made a huge difference. If Arizona’s front office was smart, they’d offer Peterson a contract extension that would keep him in the desert for the remainder of his career.
The overall performance of the Cardinals defense was it’s most impressive of the 2019 campaign. Joseph’s unit limited Saquon Barkley, the Giants tremendous young running back, to 72 yards on 18 carries. The previously mentioned pass-rush racked up an eye-popping eight sacks on the afternoon, including four by the severely underrated Chandler Jones.
Besides the crucial play he made late in the fourth quarter, Peterson was also credited with seven solo tackles and a pass breakup. Linebacker Jordan Hicks recorded seven stops and also came down with the Cards first interception of the year. Nose tackle Corey Peters tallied four tackles and joined the sack party when he took Jones down in the third quarter.
The beleaguered Joseph was in dire need of a strong outing from his defensive contingent. Up until now, it’s been the Arizona offense that has been carrying the load. Watch out opposing offenses, studs like Peterson, Jones and Hicks are helping their teammates get their act together.