Just about one of the only things that went right in Sunday's disappointing loss to the Seahawks was the pressure the defense was able to force on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The Cardinals defense ended the day with five sacks -- by far the most they've recorded in a game this season. In the photo above, defensive end Alan Branch sacks and strips the ball from opposing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
With five more sacks added to their total, they stand at 13 for the season -- tied for 14th overall. I can't help but still be concerned since the sacks against the Seahawks came after first round pick offensive tackle Russell Okung went out in the first quarter. Did the Cardinals take advantage of the injury? Possibly, and I can't fault them for doing it either. But with a 3-4 defense, pressure and sacks need to be generated regardless of opposing team's health.
On the flip side, the team the Cardinals play this upcoming Sunday-- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- have only recorded 5 sacks, which ranks them dead last in the league.
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis has been under some fire this season for his poor formations and lack of creativity with defensive pressure. Against a good home team this past Sunday, his defense forced several three-and-outs and numerous field goals -- giving the offense opportunities to remain competitive. The defense is finally starting to gel together, now it's on the offense's shoulders to straighten things out.