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Houston Texans At Arizona Cardinals: Know Thy Enemy Edition Part Two

In part one we talked about how the Cardinals defense needs to start playing better - their not the only part of the Cards that needs to start playing better. The offense has struggled to do anything in the two losses. The biggest reason behind this is that the offensive line has failed to block for the run game and the pass game. In week three they played a tough Indianapolis Colts defensive line, with Dwight Freeney, one of the better pass rushers in the league, and Robert Mathis, who does not get enough credit for his pass rush skills. This week they face another tough defensive line of the Houston Texans, with Mario Williams, who has had double digit sacks the past two seasons, and Antonio Smith, who is better at stopping the run but can get pressure on the QB if needed. Of the two, Mario Williams will have to be stopped by whom ever is trying to block him at the tackle position.

Mario Williams was a star defensive end for North Carolina State from 2003 to 2005. He played, and started, all three seasons he played at NC State, and he was a monster in those three seasons. He had 175 tackles and 25.5 sacks in 36 total games for the team. His best season was his junior season recording 62 tackles, 24 for a loss, 14.5 sacks, and 15 hurries. Those numbers would prove how good he was in college, and would later motivate him to leave for the draft.

In the 2006 draft, Mario Williams was seen as a top 5, maybe top 3 pick in the draft, but he would ultimately end up going number one overall to the Houston Texans. In his rookie season he wouldn't exactly be what everyone thought he would be, only having 4.5 sacks and not getting a whole lot of pressure on the QB. Lots of skeptics wondered why the Texans did not take Reggie Bush instead. Willaims would prove why in his second season, dropping the QB for 14 sacks and having 59 total tackles. When Tony Dungy was coach he would say during that season that Williams was comparable to the Colts Dwight Freeney. He would also become a first-team all pro selection for that season. In his third season Williams would up his game getting 12 sacks and 53 tackles in 15 games. He would be good enough to be selected again to the first-team all pro, and he would be going to his first Pro Bowl.

Williams has proved that he is a force in this league and will be another tough player for the Cards offensive line to block. If the Cardinals are going win this game, they will have to significantly improve their blocking as Williams is no one to take lightly. Whether it is Levi Brown or Mike Gandy blocking him, they will have to have better footwork and will try to keep him away from Warner. Giving Warner more than a second to throw is key. If they can do this than they will have a better chance of winning this game. Thoughts?