The Arizona Cardinals have had an interesting season.
Their best offensive player was injured, their quarterback and MVP of the first half was injured, and their defense has regressed… badly.
Yet, two defensive players have been exceptional.
That's why, when Bleacher Report released their 2017 Top 100 NFL Players report those two players were found in the top 50 overall players.
41. Chandler Jones, OLB, Arizona Cardinals
Derrik Klassen: Chandler Jones is the rare top-notch pass-rusher who does not win with elite speed and explosion. Instead, Jones is a dominant force because he has long arms and overpowering strength. He can be the first to engage and wins battles early, which springs him toward the quarterback in a hurry. Jones has recorded at least one sack in six of his seven games this season.
Jones is a different type of pass rusher than what many expect. He doesn't win with explosiveness off the edge, but instead with types moves, setting tackles up to exploit them later .
Jones at 41 seems right, and maybe it is my bias, but the next entry seems low:
32. Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona CardinalsIan Wharton: Although Patrick Peterson has been overshadowed as the Arizona Cardinals have disappointed, he's back on top of his game. Offenses have thrived attacking everyone else in the Cardinals secondary, but not Peterson. He's still at his best when shadowing top receivers in press coverage, a rarity in today's defensive strategies.
Ian has Peterson as the fifth best corner in football, but I can't help but think a lot of that stems from playing for a bad team and less to do with Peterson's work on the field, which has been light this year.