The Cardinals defense was the biggest reason why the team won 10 games last season, but there’s been some discussion about a drop in production this year.
Karlos Dansby left as a free agent and Daryl Washington is suspended for the year, leaving the team without a pair of key linebackers from last year’s unit, and safety Tyrann Mathieu’s 2014 debut may be delayed as he rehabs from a torn ACL. Despite the absences, defensive end Calais Campbell believes that the unit will be just fine when the bell rings.
“We have Kevin Minter stepping up, who did great for us, but we’re still talented all the way around,” Campbell said on ESPN, via NFL.com. “The defensive line, DBs, keep the job easier. John Abraham, he had a good year last year. We’ll still be a top defense. And offense got way better this year.”
That last point is the key one for the Cardinals. Even with the defense performing at a high level last year, the Cardinals fell short of the playoffs and things don’t look any easier in the NFC West this time around. If the Cardinals can’t put up points on a consistent basis, the defense won’t be enough to get them to the postseason all by itself.