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Robert Nkemdiche’s Breakout Season

Cardinals’ 2016 first round pick is finally playing to his potential

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t too long ago when Robert Nkemdiche was considered to be a bust, as he recorded only 12 tackles in his first two season since being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round.

After struggling with consistency and health in his rookie and sophomore seasons, it seems that Nkemdiche has finally turned the corner. In the first three weeks of 2018, he has recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. In the game against the Chicago Bears, interior offensive linemen Kyle Long and Eric Kush struggled to block him. He almost sacked Alex Smith in the endzone for a safety.

Not only is he getting after the quarterback, he is also making plays against the run with four tackles for loss.

At this rate, Nkemdiche will finish with at least 10 sacks by the end of the season. Whether or not he can get there will depend on his growth and his health. So far, after years of disappointment, he is finally trending in the right direction.

The Arizona Cardinals (0-3) will play the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) in what could be a very close game against two struggling teams. The Seahawks’ offensive line has allowed 14 sacks on the season, tied with the Bills and Browns for most in the NFL. They also allowed the third-most quarterbacks hits (24) through the first three weeks.

Nkemdiche will have a great opportunity to add to his breakout season against a struggling Seahawks’ offensive line.