Cards’ run defense must hold up

Posted by Darren Urban on October 10, 2014 – 10:26 am

Before Calais Campbell got hurt a couple of plays into the second half of last weekend’s game in Denver, the Broncos had exactly four rushing yards. On seven attempts. With Campbell out of the game, the Broncos got 88 yards rushing on 21 tries.

There were, of course, other factors. The defense eventually got tired in the fourth quarter because the Cardinals could not generate any offense and stay on the field. But make no mistake, Campbell is an important part of the run defense. So too is Matt Shaughnessy, who was playing hurt in Denver and now is out a couple months with a knee injury. How the Cardinals deal with the loss of Campbell and Shaughnessy and hold up against the run, in my opinion, is the linchpin of keeping this season together as the Cardinals deal with all their injury-related setbacks.

If the Cardinals can continue to play like a top-five run defense — and they are fifth right now — they will stay in games. Certainly, the next stretch of the schedule will test that. The Redskins have Alfred Morris. The Eagles have Shady McCoy. And the Cowboys have the leading rusher in the NFL in DeMarco Murray. Getting Campbell back sooner rather than later will help, but there no way to know right now exactly when that will be. At this point, the Cards can’t afford to wait for reinforcements anyway. They must perform with who they have.


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15 Responses to “Cards’ run defense must hold up”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    Morris, Shady and Murray, Oh my!

    Campbell and Shaughnessy were huge against the run. That is going to be tough to replace.

    Campbell makes 10+ million for a reason and to think rookies and a back up will take his place is foolish

    But I do like the Kelly and Williams and think they are doing well against the run. Ed Stinson is stout against the run and will get his chance to rotate in with Rucker and Martin. I think the front 3 will be battling.

    But this is a stretch of games where two players will make or break it.

    Okafor has big shoes to fill with Shaughnessy. If he could step up, it would be huge for the team. From his limited time, I think he plays the run better than the pass. He has been able to shed blockers and make plays.

    The second guy is Minter. Over these 3 games, you will see more Minter. He was drafted because he is a down hill run stuffer. He has always struggled going backwards (dropping into coverage). But this guy, well, this is why he was drafted in the second round.

    If the cards defense is to hold down the skins run game this weekend, look for Minter to have double digit tackles.

  2. By NickPepe on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    I couldn’t agree more, especially with the lack of a consistent pass rush. Sunday is a big game as far as momentum is concerned. Losing at home to an average Skins team could generate an oil leak. And its not good when you start leaking oil!

    The reason I think we come out on top is this coaching staff has done a great job in pulling out wins when the chips are down or things are not going our way. They have the players (and me) believing they are winners. Coach pushes the right buttons. Can’t wait for the Friday before.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member since 1970-71

  3. By Chuck 1 on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    I’m going to focus on Campbell’s injury and the measly $8K fine that the NFL levied on Thomas.
    What a joke!!!
    But, that’s probably all the NFL could levy based, I assume, on negotiations between the NFL and the players’ union.
    That’s like fining me $0.01 for an infraction.
    If the NFL and the players’ union are really concerned about player safety both of them should put some teeth in the punishments and not only fine a violator a significant amount but suspend them for an equal time that the victim is unavailable.

  4. By Chuck 1 on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    I need to be sold on Minter.
    I have heard his name mentioned, I believe, one time as being involved in a tackle.
    That’s not good enough. for a LB drafted as high as he was.
    I’m also not sold on Acho and Okafor. Might be bad draft choices.

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    Chuck 1,

    I think Thomas should have been suspended without pay for his deliberate actions. It was a very dirty play. No need for that in football.

    I think the amount is pre set for fines. Talib was fined for his hit against seattle that same 8200.

    I do have to disagree with Arians though for it being the dirtiest play.
    Remember when (I believe) it was Jim Mcmahon of the bears threw an int and the packer lineman decided to pick Mcmahon up and body slam him during the return?
    Or when the cowboys center raked his cleat over the face of a dlineman whose helmet came off?
    But at the time, I see why he said it was the dirtiest. It was bad.

  6. By louis on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    like i said it ‘s going to be a long season .washington will win this game .28 -10.

  7. By jme on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    rookies dont make 10 million because they are… “Rookies”, this is the time they earn the chance to make millions when contract time comes. The circle of football life. If they are hungry for what CC has then go out their and show it!! Im sure they all know this. Next man up!! Team wins not one position.

  8. By truths4all on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    FOUR YARDS before Campbell got hurt?

    Now you know why the Donkeys went after Campbell to cripple him and get him out of the game.

    And the he NFL looks the other way. Wonder what the NFL would have done if one of the Cards hit Manning high and hard after the play and knocked Manning out for a he season? Why the NFL would have banned the player and the Cards coaching staff for life!

  9. By Dobie on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    next man up that all it is and they be leave they can do it

  10. By georgiebird on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards run defense is ok- not great. When a team gets about 500 yards passing against us there is no way to gauge the run defense.
    If the run defense is that good then I’d advise Todd Bowles to allocate an extra guy to pass defense from run defense.
    A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
    Why run when passing is so easy.

  11. By William Barry on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    Minter and Okafor will do fine, Minter actually has been playing pretty good. We WILL weather the injury storm!!!!!! Cards win!!!

  12. By Richard S on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    I think Washington will run the hurry up offense to discombobulate the defense which wants to make substitutions. This may result in timeouts which the offense under a new signal caller will probably need to keep from drawing delay of game penalties. I also think Washington will run right where Calais was and is no more. Losing Calais was the biggest loss the Cardinals defense had and then throwing Shaughnessy in there too make me think this is not going to be a good weekend. I hope I’m wrong.

  13. By Scott H on Oct 10, 2014 | Reply

    I love Alfred Morris ( because I have him on my fantasy team ) and I think he is COMPLETELY under-utilized by the Redskins. But that’s their problem. However, a very noteworthy trend with Morris is that he tends to play MUCH better at home. I forgot the actual numbers but he has scored at least one TD during a long streak of consecutive home games, has barely scored on the road during the same stretch. They NEVER use him on 3rd down plays, they barely utilize him in the passing game, and when the Redskins fall behind and have to play catch-up in the 2nd half, I think they send Morris home early. He disappears. Like I said, I think he is VERY under-utilized. So, 2 things –

    1) Put the Redskins in a hole by half time and Morris won’t be a factor. And,

    2) We need to make Alfred Morris a Cardinal so we can use him the way he SHOULD be used – early and often! He is true workhorse back who is needs a proper workload. That will help not only the Arizona Cardinals but ALSO my fantasy team.

  14. By BKR on Oct 11, 2014 | Reply

    The Redskins have some talented players at WR and RB – the backup RB Roy Helu is good as is Morris. There WRs and RBs will give the Cardinals alot of trouble with all the Cardinal starters out. At WR Jackson, Garcon and ex card Roberts will be tough. They have some TEs that can play as well.
    The Redskins also have some talented players on Defense, especially pass rushers at LB that will sack and harass the Cardinal qb all day.
    If the Cardinals are not up for this game and down from last week it will be a very long day. I am a big Cardinals fan from way back and know how the Redskins have a way of defeating the Cardinals. I would be surprised if the Cardinals can win this one. All the players out, no pass rush and the Redskins ability to rush the passer will decide this one. I hope they win but it does not look good. Go Cardinals!!

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