For the third week in a row the Redbirds have racked up a dub. This time with an impressive effort from the run game and defense in a messy east coast game. How did everyone’s stock pan out from the trip to New York?
Chase Edmonds: With David Johnson active but not 100%, it was the much called for backup’s times to shine, and shine he did for a career day to the tune of 150 total yards and 3 touchdowns. What’s even more impressive was that each score came on runs of 20, 20 and 22 yards. The Cards appear to have a two-headed monster in their backfield and it’ll be fun to watch this stable of RB’s carve teams up once DJ is healthy.
Run Blocking: Not to detract from the second year running back’s day, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the push the front line brought. On several occasions Edmonds was able to rack up double digit rushes untouched as the Giants were blown off the ball for big running lanes.
Chandler Jones: Another Cardinal with a career day, Jones tallied 4 of the team’s 8 sacks including a strip sack and recovery. While the rest of the team struggles to generate pressure and turnovers, the underrated OLB has been huge for the defense in both areas.
Patrick Peterson: After seeing his first action today after the 6 week suspension, I was worried the All-Pro corner would have some fair amount of rust to shake off, but that was not so as PP21 led the team with 7 solo tackles and racking up a sack of his own.
The Defense: It was a smothering effort put forth by the defense, surrendering only 14 points and thrashing Daniel Jones to the tune of the aforementioned 8 sacks. After struggling to create turnovers, the pass rush coughed up 3 forced fumbles, recovering two. The unit also finally saw it’s first interception thanks to Jordan Hicks.
The much maligned tight end defense also saw a boost this week, though they gave up a 28 yard TD to Rhett Ellison on a heck of a throw from Daniel Jones, the tight ends were kept quiet on the day. Yes, Engram did just come back from injury and missed some plays, but it’s still a decent day for a unit that might be league-worst in this area.
Kliff Kingsbury: It’s hard to be too critical here, the run scheme was brilliant early on and the team came away with a win. But rainy conditions not withstanding, I felt Kliff was too quick to rely on the run and be conservative. I mean, c’mon... TWO runs on 3rd and 15? You don’t like to see the foot come off the petal, especially with how close the score was.
Honorable Mentions: I try to avoid putting too many secondary players here without having seen the all-22, but there were some concerning plays in coverage - especially when you consider that the Giants were without Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram was not at 100%. After a hot start, special teams is showing some warts, now ranked 23rd in DVOA, and that blocked punt for a TD won’t help that. And while the run game wasn’t a problem, David Johnson was a big loss for the passing game. This unit of pass catchers likely is going to need help even after they can get Christian Kirk back.