2011 Cardinals Week 3: Five observations

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
7:54
PM ET
Five things I noticed while watching the Arizona Cardinals during their 13-10 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3:
  • Adrian Wilsons' arm: The Cardinals' four-time Pro Bowl safety wears a wrap around his injured right biceps tendon, but the injury does not appear to bother him. Wilson never seems to be protecting the arm. He extends his right arm and pulls himself up when teammates offer a hand. He swings his right arm hard when celebrating with a roundhouse low five. Wilson does not appear to be providing many of the violent tackles that have become a hallmark for him. That could reflect settling into a new defense. He has made plays against the pass and probably should have picked off one in this game after jumping a route early.
  • Kolb can take a hit: Durability for new quarterback Kevin Kolb was a concern entering the season. He had suffered a concussion in Week 1 with Philadelphia last season, after all. Kolb continues to bounce back quickly from hard hits. Leroy Hill, one of the Seahawks' most violent tacklers, rocked him at the end of a scramble. Kolb handled the hit well. Durability concerns are subsiding after watching this game and the hit Kolb took after throwing that deep ball to Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown against Washington. He does need to be wiser about getting rid of the football sometimes, as Kolb has acknowledged.
  • Veteran linemen working out OK: I've questioned the Cardinals' aversion to drafting offensive linemen in recent seasons. Those criticisms are losing their edge after watching the Cardinals' line fare reasonably well in difficult road environments, all while division rivals with highly drafted young linemen struggle. Arizona's veteran interior featuring Rex Hadnot, Lyle Sendlein and Daryn Colledge looks pretty good. Colledge did enough against Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane on some of the plays I watched, including one when Kolb found Fitzgerald for a 28-yard reception. Most of the protection breakdowns on the inside appeared to stem from assignment errors, not getting beat physically. Hadnot's veteran savvy showed when he got away with what amounted to a horse-collar tackle against Alan Branch to avoid allowing a sack in the final seconds.
  • Campbell's dominance: We've discussed Calais Campbell's dominance in finishing with 10 tackles, four quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks. The Cardinals' defensive end exploited his matchup with Paul McQuistan, the Seahawks' injury replacement at left guard. He also beat left tackle Russell Okung when making a tackle on a running play to set up a third-and-1 situation.
  • A.J. Jefferson brings energy: The Cardinals have suffered through obvious issues in their secondary, especially at cornerback. Jefferson is a converted receiver finding his way in a new defensive system. I can see why coaches wanted him on the field, however. Jefferson supported the run aggressively in this game and wasn't afraid to cut down the Seahawks' power back, Marshawn Lynch, near the line of scrimmage. Jefferson also stood out a couple times on special teams.

There we go. Five observations for every team in the division from Week 3. Thanks for coming along.

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