Sep 16, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is pressured by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Arizona Cardinals won 20-18. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
There is no doubting that Calais Campbell had a monster game for the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday against the Patriots. He registered two sacks from the defensive end position (when the team rushed just four players most of the game), he had 10 tackles, two for a loss and he managed to get two additional hits on Tom Brady.
Not a half bad week, if you ask me. For his efforts, Campbell was awarded with the NFC Defensive Player of the Week Award.
But was there a player that could have beaten him out? See who it is after the jump.
In comparison to Campbell's big time game, Clay Matthews, outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers may have played even better. The caveman is off to a hot start this season and at the rate he is going, he will easily shatter the sack record in 2012. He has six sacks through two games, matching his output from the entire 2011-12 season.
Last Thursday against the Bears, Matthews managed to rack up 7 tackles, 3.5 sacks (!) and a deflected pass. He also got off two hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. At the rate he is going, he will end the season with 48 sacks. Although that is highly unlikely, it is hard to ignore the streak he is on.
So which of the two truly deserved the award? Many fans, including those who are impartial to both the Cardinals and Packers, are crying out that Matthews was robbed. But I don't see it that way.
I realize that I may be a bit biased in my examination, but Campbell isn't going to be the sack guy that Matthews is. He plays DE in a 3-4 front, which calls for him to do many things outside of getting to the opposing quarterback. His ability to do that is just icing on the cake.
Campbell's tackles for loss and ability to get two sacks while his team rushed just four players most of the time is outstanding. He was consistently in the backfield, creating havoc.
So, I think the NFL got it right. CC deserved these honors.
But it doesn't matter what I think. What are your thoughts? Which player should have won NFC Defensive Player of the Week? Tell us in the comments section and vote in the poll. Try to be as unbiased as possible (I know it's hard).
Which player deserved the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award more?
Calais Campbell (73 votes)
Clay Matthews (37 votes)
Other (explain) (3 votes)
113 total votes