Defensively, four Cardinals players never left the field. They were among the regulars to be the ironmen -- safety Yeremiah Bell, cornerback Patrick Peterson and linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby.
Looking at the defensive backs, Rashad Johnson also almost never left the field -- going 65 snaps, while cornerback Jerraud Powers had 64 snaps. Tyrann Mathieu was used much less than in other games. He got 36 snaps. Antoine Cason, who has settled into the role of dime cornerback, only got five snaps, which is about what I remember seeing in dime packages.
The linebackers hardly changed. After Dansby and Washington never left the field, John Abraham got a ton of time,logging 65 snaps. Matt Shaughnessy was on the field for 52 snaps and then Marcus Benard, who actually started the game, played 11 snaps.
On the defensive line, Calais Campbell was on the field for 61 snaps, followed by Darnell Dockett, who got 51, Alameda Ta'amu, with 19 snaps and Dan Williams with 11. Frostee Rucker played 18 snaps and Ronald Talley got six.
Based on my initial charting defensively, the Cards used a slightly different philosophy defensively. They used a lot of base personnel again like against San Francisco, but they never went with the eight-man front like we saw the week before. Jasper Brinkley did not even play one snap defensively. I don't recall hardly any four-man fronts. In nickel packages, they went with the two man line, which is what they did all last season.
The one absence that will likely draw the most criticism is the fact that Tony Jefferson did not play at all defensively. That is because Rashad Johnson was healthy.
The defensive backs personnel has changed a little. Jefferson is still and will likely remain the fourth safety. That means a lot has to happen to get him on the field.
Against Detroit, he was the dime DB. Base personnel in the defensive backfield was Peterson, Powers, Johnson and Bell. Add Mathieu as the nickel guy. Against the Lions, when they went dime, Yeremiah Bell was brought down with the linebackers and Jefferson was brought in as another safety.
After that, he got time when Johnson was hurt. He would come in on nickel packages because Mathieu, who was the starting free safety then, would move to the slot.
Now that everyone is healthy, the dime package looks different. Against Detroit, it was Jefferson that came in as the sixth DB. No longer is that the case. Now it is Antoine Cason, and he plays around the line of scrimmage. Bell moves around all over the place. Sometimes he is deep. Sometimes he lines up to cover a guy and others he is in the box like a linebacker.
The question now is whether Jefferson should get more time. Bell has allowed six touchdowns in coverage. However, clearly the coaching staff likes him, otherwise he would not be playing every single snap on defense.
That is a discussion to be had.