The pass rush.
It was almost non existent against the Rams last Sunday – the Red Birds failed to record a sack the entire contest.
That has to change.
That's because the Lions can inflict a lot of damage on an opposing defense. Besides Johnson, the All-Pro wide receiver, Detroit features talented quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Reggie Bush, one of the most dynamic tailbacks in the league. They can light up the scoreboard in a hurry so it's imperative that the Cardinals put sustained pressure on the strong-armed Stafford.
“If we can get more disruptive in the pass rush, that would be huge,” defensive end Calais Campbell told azcardinals.com. “I know we will. … If we don’t get a good pass rush, we’re not going to beat anybody.”
There is no doubt that Arizona misses their leading sacker from last season – linebacker Daryl Washington – who is currently serving a four-game suspension (he will be eligible to return in Week Five). Players like veteran defensive end John Abraham, in his first season with the Cardinals, need to step up. Abraham, who has 122 career sacks on his resume, participated in 20 plays against the Rams. Expect him to play in at least 30 on Sunday.
The home crowd should be loud and raucous on Sunday so Stafford could have some difficulty calling signals. The Red Birds may have to disguise some blitz packages and blitz from different areas of the field (safety blitz, for example). Head coach Bruce Arians mentioned that Arizona's pass rush can get better by players using improved techniques and by playing to their respective strengths. The Cards tied for 11th in the NFL with 38 sacks last season. They need to start building towards that number.
Sunday would be a good day to get started.
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