GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams scrambles to pass under pressure from defenisve end Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 19-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Pro Football Focus makes weekly recognitions for the players that graded out the highest each week at their position and also those that grade out the lowest. Over the past several weeks, it has been commonplace to see players on the Arizona Cardinals be on both lists. It kind of embodies the season that Arizona is having.
This week, the recognition was all good -- for not one, but two players. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell and linebacker Daryl Washington, two players most of us recognize as our best on the defense, are the ones recognized for their play against the Rams on Sunday.
As for the good stuff, Campbell had a great game. After a stat correction, he had two sacks, six tackles and the blocked field goal that put the game into overtime. He has been consistently dominating the line of scrimmage.
PFF said this:
I keep telling people this but the best defensive end in Arizona isn't Darnell Dockett, but rather Calais Campbell. The big man added two sacks, a hit and two pressures along with three defensive stops in the run game against St Louis.
This is kind of true. He is the most productive. But in part that is by design. Dockett does more of the dirty work that allows Campbell to get a little less attention. But I do not wish to diminish Campbell's play. He has been fantastic.
Daryl Washington has been every whit as good at his position. He is regularly making plays behind the line of scrimmage, he is making plays in coverage, he is looking more and more like Karlos Dansby in his production.
PFF said this about his game on Sunday:
Superb day for Washington who had five defensive stops, only allowed 14 yards on the four balls thrown at him, and broke up two passes.
Some could bust his chops for having two possible interceptions that ended up on the grass as broken up passes, but at least the last of the two was not like the one that Adrian Wilson clubbed this year. Washington leaped up and tipped the pass with one hand. To have caught that ball would have been extraordinary -- a receiver-type play (which he is not).
I don't know what else to say about these guys. They are having fantastic seasons and are certainly doing their part for the defense. Too bad it doesn't happen with all the other positions.
Now the big question for you -- who has been the more important player to the defense this year? Is it Campbell or is it Washington?