ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Jones and Campbell among Pro Football Focus’ best pass-rushers

Oct 27, 2016, 5:20 PM
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) recovers the fumble by New England Patriots quarte...

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) recovers the fumble by New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals’ (3-3-1) defense has been highlighted as of late by stellar pass-rushing. Two players of note have had especially good seasons.

Pro Football Focus ranked Chandler Jones (No. 3) and Calais Campbell (No. 5) in its list of the NFL’s best pass-rushers through Week 7.

The Cardinals traded for Jones in the offseason in order to bolster their dominant defense from last season. So far, he has yet to disappoint with two forced fumbles and a team-high five sacks. Jones has garnered at least one sack in five of Arizona’s seven games.

Chandler Jones is proving to be one of the best pickups of the offseason for any team. He has been arguably the league’s best edge rusher through seven weeks of the season, and almost single-handedly shut down the Seattle offense this past week by abusing their left tackle(s). Jones has exceptional length, which allows him to get into the pads of tackles, giving him the chance to win with strength more than speed (compared to a rusher like Miller). It’s an unusual skill-set, though, and Seahawks LT Bradley Sowell, for one, had no answer, routinely ending up on the floor as Jones hit him with his push-pull move to defeat the block.

Campbell, now in his ninth season with the Cardinals, has been consistent with his performance so far in 2016. The veteran has accumulated 18 combined tackles and two sacks, both of which came from the 33-21 win in San Francisco.

The quirk of this season is that Calais Campbell is a very good pass-rusher, but probably one that would be several spots lower on this list in a typical year. He has two sacks and 19 total pressures so far, and by far his best performance has come from beating up on the hapless Seahawks’ offensive line. Campbell is a player that can change games with his ability to collapse pockets from the inside.

Though both pass-rushers have had off-games, last week’s dominance of Seattle’s offensive line showed how much of a force the duo can be when they are on top of their game at the same time.

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