I defy you to listen to any football coach following a
game at any level, in victory or defeat, not mention the
three phases of a football game.
Offense, defense and special teams.
If you fail in one of those three phases, your chances of
winning are reduced considerably. However, if you excel
in any one of the three, that can be the difference in the
Special teams was the phase responsible for the Cardinals’
19-13 overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
And I’m not just talking about the two marquee plays that
made everyone’s highlight show–Calais Campbell’s field
goal block that forced overtime and Patrick Peterson’s 99-
yard punt return for a touchdown.
The special teams units were solid all around.
Jay Feely booted field goals from 27 and 38 yards, and did
a nice job on kickoffs as well, putting two of four into
the end zone for touchbacks.
The kick coverage team held the Rams to just 19.6 yards
per return on 5 attempts, and that included returns of two
free kicks after safeties.
Dave Zastudil had his best punting day of the year,
pinning the Rams inside their own 20-yard line three times
in his 6 punts. His net average was also 42.0 per
attempt, a season-high.
Campbell, one of the special teams heroes, made sure he
knew where to give the credit for the unit’s effort.
“For the special teams to do what we did, you have to take
your hat off to Coach (Kevin) Spencer,” he said. “He does
a good job of preparing us every week. When we’re well-
coached like that it makes a big difference.”