After a 24-3 loss on Monday Night Football the Arizona Cardinals are 4-4 and half way through the 2012 season. Part 2 is the defensive and special-teams mid-season awards for the Cardinals. Part 1 which covers the offensive awards can be found here.
MVP: Daryl Washington. Washington leads the team in tackles with 68 and sacks with 8. His 68 tackles are tied for 5th best in the NFL and his 8 sacks are tied for 3rd best in the NFL. Washington has stepped up and has become a Pro Bowl contender.
Best DL: Calais Campbell. Campbell leads all Cardinals DL in tackles with 29, sacks with 3 and passes defended with 4. Campbellis tied for the 6th most passes defended in the NFL. Campbell got his new contract in the off-season and has continued to perform at a Pro Bowl caliber level.
Best LB: Daryl Washington. (See Above)
Best DB: Patrick Peterson. Peterson leads the team with 3 interceptions and 8 passes defended. Peterson made the Pro Bowl last season as a punt returner, but has made his biggest strides this season at cornerback. Peterson continues to be the Cardinals number one corner and matches up against the opponent’s best receiver.
Best Special-Teams Player: Dave Zastudil. Zastudil leads the NFL in total punt yards and net punt yards. He is second in the league in punts downed inside the 20 yard line. Zastudil has punted 51 times this season as the Cardinals offense can not sustain many drives.
Most Improved: O’Brien Schofield. Schofield has nearly matched his totals from 16 games last season in the first 8 this season. Schofield had 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season. He already has 30 tackles and 4 sacks in 8 games this season. Schofield has become an every-down linebacker who could sniff double-digit sacks in a season.