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The 49ers must identify Cardinals' SS Adrian Wilson before the snap because he may be the most aggressive DB in the NFL. He can blitz very effectively or move up and play in the box in run support. Watching a potential face-off between Wilson and RB Frank Gore will be interesting.
• One defender Packers count on
• Bears have edge in the red zone
Good, but not elite defense
Arizona's defense has been up and down this season. The Cardinals use some exotic defensive schemes under Clancy Pendergast and they can really confuse offenses with their pre-snap looks. They also have a quality pass rush, but for some reason they don't always play with great consistency, especially on the backend. At times, the Cardinals' tackling will get sloppy and their secondary will have some assignment breakdowns, which leads to big plays. But, when they are focused and disciplined this is a good defense. They need more consistency every week to be an elite defense.
Gary Horton, a pro scout for Scouts Inc., has been a football talent evaluator for more than 30 years. He spent 10 years in the NFL and 10 years at the college level before launching a private scouting firm, The War Room.