The Arizona Cardinals‘ DE Calais Campbell sat out practice on Wednesday. A calf injury could keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Campbell is a huge contributor on a defense that could arguably be in the top 10 of the NFL this season. The defense has been pretty consistent all year long, but this injury could make the secondary vulnerable.
Campbell’s pass rush makes quarterbacks nervous. He has a huge frame and can grab a hold of a jersey from three feet away. Falcons QB Matt Ryan will have more time to throw which could lead to more passing yards against the number 2 ranked unit in the league. CB Patrick Peterson and company will have to hunker down and focus on the task at hand to be successful.
The Cardinals’ rush defense is not great, but it has done a good job this year. This injury to Campbell could change that. The injury to LB O’Brien Schofield does not help the 24th ranked rushing defense either. This team will probably struggle with contain this week because Quentin Groves is not the normal starter and Sam Acho will not have the luxury of playing in front of Campbell. This will cause problems in the running game if they focus too much on Ryan’s throwing arm.
The real question is, does the Cardinals’ defense really have a chance against the high powered Falcons offense? Yes, but they have to play mistake free. The Cardinals have to keep up with the Falcons for all four quarters and hopefully something amazing happens in the final two minutes of the game. Turnovers, of the “Pick six” variety, will have to happen to take pressure off QB John Skelton. He only plays well when the Cardinals are down and have no chance of winning. That doesn’t translate into wins for most teams in the NFL.
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