Calais Campbell’s large handprints were all over the Cardinals’ 20-18 upset of the New England Patriots on Sunday.
But they weren’t where you most expected them.
Campbell, known for his kick blocking, didn’t get a hand on Stephen Gostkowski’s last-second field goal attempt, instead impacting the game with 10 tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss.
The NFL took notice Wednesday, naming Campbell the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Campbell became the first Cardinal to win the conference’s defensive player of the week award since safety
It was Campbell’s second weekly honor. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after Week 2 in 2009. Seven of Campbell’s tackles were solo efforts and he finished with three quarterback hurries.
“That was one of the game plans, to get pressure on (Patriots quarterback) Tom (Brady) with four guys, and that’s tough to do,” Campbell said. “There are five guys trying to block you, and sometimes with a back it is six. But we did a pretty good job. I think our DBs did a great job making them hold the ball for a long time.
“I think we have matured a lot over the years, especially over last year. The biggest thing is responding after we make a mistake instead of letting it get you down and beat you.
The Cardinals are 2-0 for the second time in 21 years and are looking to improve to 3-0 against the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time since 1974.
“It’s a good mindset right now, we’re confident. But it’s two games. It’s a long season. We have a lot more football to play.”