Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is a big, big man. Of course, most NFL linemen are big but standing six-feet-eight, Campbell towers above them all. What sets Campbell apart is more than his height, it's his ability to move well in the trenches and use his arm length to tip passes and make tackles.
Campbell had a fantastic game in the Cardinals 19-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. The biggest play of the day came at the end of regulation when Campbell recorded his fourth-career blocked field goal on a 42-yard attempt that would have won the game for the Rams.
"My mindset was like, find a way to get a block," Campbell explained. "I told Darnell Dockett, 'If you give me a good push I might get a block.' He gave me the best push I've ever seen ever. In four years of playing with him, that's the best push he ever gave me."
There wasn't any extra trickery or stunts run on the block. Just Dockett clearing space Campbell getting a big paw high in the air. (Here's the video.)
The blocked field goal was obviously huge, but Campbell also recorded 1.5 sacks in the game, three QB hits and had five tackles, the most of any lineman.
The Cardinals defense as a whole was the difference in the game. They kept the Rams out of the red zone and forced them into three field goals which was their only offensive points of the day.
"The defense all day, they bailed us out time and time again," Larry Fitzgerald said.
It wasn't a pretty win with John Skelton looking shaky in his first start of the season (20-25, 222 yards) and Beanie Wells completely shut down (20 yards, 10 carries). The offensive line was responsible for one safety and Skelton took the blame for the second which gave the Rams four extra points.
Despite all that, the Cardinals got huge stops when they needed to and found a way to pull out a much needed win. Patrick Peterson will get a lot of recognition for his walk-off punt return TD, but the defense led by Calais Campbell were also heroes in the game.