Against the Carolina Panthers, the Arizona Cardinals were fantastic defensively, especially in the second half. But how was the playing time split up? What personnel formations were used?
Here is how playing time was spread around.
The Panthers ran 66 official plays and, according to the league, there were 68 defensive snaps for Arizona.
Five players never left the field -- Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell, Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers played 64 of the 68 snaps, not leaving a lot of playing time to other corners or safeties.
As such, the other defensive backs that played were Tony Jefferson with 31 snaps, while Antoine Cason played 10 snaps.
Cason apparently passed Javier Arenas, who had been in dime packages recently since the injury to Rashad Johnson. He came in on the 10 plays where the defense used a dime package. He played near the linebackers.
According to my charting, their dime packages were with two down linemen, three linebackers (Washington, Dansby and John Abraham) and six defensive backs. Tony Jefferson would play safety and Mathieu would slide in as nickel corner.
Arizona ran a nickel package 21 times -- 14 with a 3-3-5 set, five with a 2-4-5 and two with a 4-2-5.
The snaps for the outside backers were split like this -- John Abraham with 61, Matt Shaughnessy with 40, Dontay Moch with 16 and Marcus Benard with two.
Moch lined up outside and sometimes as a third defensive lineman in nickel sets, playing both standing up and with his hand on the ground.
The defensive line went like this with snaps -- Calais Campbell with 60, Darnell Dockett with 49, Frostee Rucker with 28, Alameda Ta'amu with 22, Dan Williams with 17 and Ronald Talley with eight.
Because of the way the Panthers ran their offense, and likely in part to the fact that they wanted Washington and Dansby on the field, the Cardinals played more base than they have in some times. They ran their base 3-4 for 29 plays. They ran a 4-3 on five plays and on one play -- the safety that Calais Campbell had -- a 4-4 front.
The most notable observation I have with their formations was just how they used Cason, when he hardly has seen the field previously. With the likely return of Rashad Johnson this week, Cason likely will be relegated to the bench, with Tony Jefferson seeing time in dime sets, rather than nickel and dime sets.
The other interesting thing to see will be once Jasper Brinkley is healthy. Will he get any time with both Dansby and Washington? Bruce Arians seemed to think that he would find some plays, calling Brinkley "a thumper" and that football is a thumping game.
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