Arizona Cardinals History: Five Biggest Defensive Performances
Admit it. This is a difficult task to tackle.
All of you out there that are true Arizona Cardinals fans know that we are not known for our defense (even that one year where Buddy Ryan was the coach and we actually had a decent defense).
Now, don't get me wrong. We've had our share of star players - Aeneas Williams, Adrian Wilson, and Darnell Dockett to name a few.
But just as many, Simeon Rice comes to mind, have left and done much better elsewhere.
Despite all of the Arizona Cardinals defensive woes, however, they have had some great defensive performances.
As well, keep in mind this is while the Cardinals are in the desert, so it doesn't include great past players in St. Louis and Chicago...
5. Aeneas Williams v. Dallas, 1998 Playoffs
This is a respect pick.
Aeneas Williams will always be remembered as one of the best defenders in Arizona Cardinals history, so to not have him on this list would be a tragedy. And although stat-wise this may have not been his "best" performance, it certainly was his biggest as it was in the playoffs.
Against Dallas, their huge rival. Against Troy Aikman, future Hall of Famer. It was just two interceptions. But they were both huge in the Cardinals upset of the Cowboys.
4. Adrian Wilson v. Seattle, 2006 Season
Probably didn't expect this game did you? I'll admit this is another respect pick for arguably one of the best defenders in Arizona Cardinals history.
But it's not just that. This game epitomizes the type of defender that Wilson is. In this game against Seattle (a loss unfortunately), Wilson racked up two sacks and had an interception, something you just don't see very often from a defensive player, let alone a safety. It pretty much sums up his amazing career that Wilson has had.
3. Entire Defense v. Carolina, 2009 Playoffs
There really isn't a single guy you can point out in this game and say they were the star. The entire defense just stepped up their game.
Now, granted, Jake Delhomme had a horrible game. But the Cardinals still had to make the plays. And make them they did.
Five interceptions and one fumble caused later, the Cardinals dismantled the Panthers on the road, 33-13.
And the amazing thing is that those five interceptions were made by five different Arizona Cardinals defenders.
2. Kwamie Lassiter v. San Diego, 1998 Season
The reason that this performance was so big? It clinched a playoff berth for the Arizona Cardinals, their first since moving from St. Louis.
The 1998 season was a crazy one for the Cardinals, who experienced more success than in years. Despite all this, it came down to a do or die game against a struggling San Diego Chargers who had nothing to lose. Enter Kwame Lassister.
Lassiter, who led the Cards in interceptions that season, picked off an eye-popping four passes on that afternoon to help the Cardinals beat the Chargers on a last second field goal. Lassister also had a later season with the Cardinals in which he had nine interceptions.
1. Darnell Dockett v. Pittsburgh, 2009 Super Bowl
In the biggest game in Arizona Cardinals history. Even though it was a tough loss, Darnell Dockett had the best defensive performance in Arizona Cardinals history.
You see games every now and then when a player gets two sacks in a game. It's not common. It's even less common to see players get three sacks. Much less in a Super Bowl.
But this is exactly what Dockett did. And along with that, he tied the record set by Reggie White. And what was just as amazing was that he did it not only in a losing effort, but against a surprisingly mobile quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger.