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Coming unblocked

Posted by Darren Urban on November 4, 2013 – 8:14 am

In training camp, a couple of defensive players kept saying they thought the defense of Todd Bowles was actually more aggressive than that of Ray Horton, which frankly surprised me. I wasn’t sure that was possible. Late last week (sorry, with the bye weekend I’m just catching up) profootballfocus.com did research on teams — both offensively and defensively — who had allowed and created the most unblocked pressure on the quarterback. Guess who was at the top of the defensive list.

Again, these are the games charted prior to this weekend, but the Cardinals had managed to get unblocked pressure 49 times in eight games, tops in the league, and were able to hit the quarterback 61.2 percent of the time, which was the third-highest percentage. What does it mean? It means Bowles and his defense have been able to create enough confusion with their rushes/blitzes that guys are coming free (linebackers Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington are among the top individual players).

Also interesting to me: On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals have allowed 18 unblocked pressures, tied for sixth-fewest in the NFL — meaning that for all the faults of the pass protection, the scheme is at least accounting for the pass rushers most of the time. (And yes, it probably means the opposition blitzes less because they think they can beat the blockers with a four-man rush too.)

This week will be a test. Watching the Texans’ defensive line attack Indy’s Andrew Luck Sunday night with J.J. Watt and former Cardinal Antonio Smith, among others, was eye-opening. On the other side of the ball, Houston QB Case Keenum can certainly move around. But the Cards will have had two weeks to prep. And the Texans have to be reeling after another crushing loss.

 


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12 Responses to “Coming unblocked”

  1. By Mark on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    Honestly I don’t think our line is all to blame. Even though that test is just unblocked pressures, vs guys just being beat 1 on 1. I really think Palmer needs to get rid of the ball faster. It will be amazing to watch them this week, two weeks of prep for a team that is gonna go all out for their coach. This is a must win, and we need to beat Houston to stay alive. Football really starts to matter in November, and I am hoping the offense shows some signs of life like they did against Atlanta. Regardless, were gonna have a chance with our amazing defense. I expect a HUGE second half of the season from Tyrann Matheiu! Watch out for number 32! GO BIRDGANG!

  2. By Dynosoar on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    All we need is our Quarterback and receivers to be in sinc and we will be nigh unbeatable.

  3. By jstn on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    problem has been lack of running and the receivers not in line with qb. i put this on BA, Fitz, Floyd, Mend, then last Palmer. Get this fixed and playoffs here we go!!!

  4. By georgiebird on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    There is something better than profootballfocus.com-
    it’s called watchthegames.com.
    When you watch football games you come up with two of many conclusions as it relates to the Cardinals:
    1) The Offensive lines in most games I watch are getting beat- but many are being bailed out by mobile QBs and other playmakers on offense. As I have said on many occasions-’our offensive line is decent. And this goes out to all those who are looking to spend a #1 on an OL.
    2) As I noted in earlier posts, this is the best Cardinals defense I have seen in 54 years of rooting for the team. There are more play makers, speed and ability in 2013 than on any team since 1960. That being said, the Cardinals’ defense has been so bad for so long that I am still not sold long term on all the blitzing and gambling we do.

  5. By Dr. G. on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    It’s deja vu al over again and again! I am so happy that the Harp musical instrument puts out such beautiful sounds, or my ears would be smokin’ from the constant harping on the mobile QB thing. We have to use who we have at this point.

    Saving a broken play with mobility can be an occasional asset, but you cannot build a solid offense worrying about broken plays. ALL coaches cringe when they see the QB take off, and perhaps end up like RG III or Vick with injuries that can kill the team. A QB goal line keeper is a rare exception. 3 to 5 seconds max is needed.

    The skill set of a good QB would have great speed and agility at about #8 on the list of attributes desired. We have RB’s to handle the running and dodging.

    OK, here’s a probable list:
    1. Size – 6’5″ 235+ (big hands)
    2. Intelligence
    3. Maturity/Emotional Control
    4. Leadership/Respect of others
    5. Arm Strength/Accuracy
    6. Durability
    7. The Will to Win (won’t quit)

    We could keep going, but that begins a reasonable list. Not a tremendous fan of Palmer, but he can get it done if panic does not set it with a 300 lb lineman breathing garlic in his face…better to eat it than get hurt. QB’s are the Field Generals; we don’t want them in hand-to-hand combat. We have others with differing skills for that purpose.

    Thank you for your time and courtesies….Peyton…

  6. By ored on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    if the blitzing seems like gambling,then we need another stud db opposite p21 and more safety help,buffalo has a safety available i believe,if we could afford him and the upcoming draft is rich in dbs,i also believe a young troubled safety just retired to get his priorities staright,if he gets his head right,could be someone to think about.

    with the signing of a TE,palmer may now get more comfortable and if the speed recievers come thru then LT remains a weak link for now,but each improvement is a baby step forward,and if you’re a father,you know how that works,baby steps now and full out running soon.even if some changes have been stop gap and temporary fixes,you just never know when a dansbury or tyrann show up and a baby step becomes a big jump.as long as we keep going forward and not step back,keep the legs churning,we will be an exciting team.and don’t forget the players on ir,if they come back healthy,it’s another leap.

  7. By ored on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    side note;did anybody else notice the huge dropbacks foles took while throwing for his 7 tds,he said he slowed down the game for himself,i wonder if in part the deep dropbacks allowed him to survey the field better,you would just need to have a really strong arm to make this work,every pass becomes a chunk play or more,not too many dink and dunks.and forcing 300 lb.defenders to run further than they are used to pressure the qb.,might be something to that,easier for the qb to just slide sideways a bit than for defense to change direction on a full on run,the faster they are,the more momentum they have to change,would’nt take many plays to just tucker those guys out.would’nt take an rg3,just somebody nimble with a cannon for an arm.

  8. By Andy Kw on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    Sign Nnamdi Asomugha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    -We need a #2 Cornerback and I think Nnamdi fits our scheme. He is still capable of so much, married to the prettiest woman in the world Kerry Washington, and I bet he learned a lot from the San Francisco 49ers. He will give our team a huge boost.

  9. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards FO would be foolish to let Dansby goes after this year. He and Washington push each other to excel, which they both do. Making them the best tandum of ILB’s in the NFC…. Dansby looks renewed out there. Definitely a keystone of the Cards defense….

    Another must win game coming up against the Texans….

  10. By ored on Nov 4, 2013 | Reply

    don’t have the money for asomugha,our best bet is the draft,or one our own players step up.
    could be a really good defensive battle against the texans,just remember their qb came from houston who lives for the long ball,so apply much pressure and cover deep=picks.

  11. By Dr. G. on Nov 5, 2013 | Reply

    This AM, to the one special person on this forum who thinks that a mobile QB is the best answer for broken plays, we have only 2 words for you:
    “Aaron Rogers.”
    My best to him….. There are many others this season!

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