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The Pressure Is On For Cardinals' Pass Rush

Allen leading way as defense tries to make quarterbacks more uncomfortable

Defensive end Zach Allen collects his first sack of the year (with linebacker Markus Golden about to join the fray) during Sunday's win at Carolina.
Defensive end Zach Allen collects his first sack of the year (with linebacker Markus Golden about to join the fray) during Sunday's win at Carolina.

Towards piling up more sacks, Sunday was another step in the right direction for the Cardinals pass rush.

The Cardinals entered the matchup with ESPN's best pass rush win rate through three games but near the bottom of the league in sacks.

But the pressure was enough Sunday in a 26-16 win over the Panthers, with the Cardinals doubling their sack totals after takedowns by Zach Allen and Dennis Gardeck.

"It hasn't been too big of a difference between Week 1 and now," Allen said. "It's a matter of us getting there. Luckily, they held on to the ball a little longer and we got there faster."

The Cardinals made life miserable for quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Panthers offense. Two sacks aside, the Cardinals front seven combined for 35 tackles, an interception, three quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery.

The seven batted passes, the most for a quarterback in five years, is the bigger story. Defensive linemen Zach Allen, who continues his incredible season, accounted for three. Defensive end J.J. Watt, one of their defensive leaders, had two.

It's the first time the Cardinals had multiple defensive linemen with two-plus passes defensed in a single game since 1994. Allen and Watt become the first set of defensive linemen teammates to have multiple passes defensed in a game since 2017 when the Saints did against the Lions.

"That was part of the game plan," Allen said. "To get your hands up and affect the throws, and it worked. It's good to have that in our back pocket."

"We played great," Watt added. "It was guys making plays all over the place, with sacks, batted balls, interceptions, just guys flying around making plays."

Now the goal is to produce more sacks as a unit moving forward. The Cardinals don't want to stay near the bottom in sacks as the season progresses, especially with the talent in the locker room.

"At the end of the day, you go for sacks," Allen said. "We got two of them, but we have more in the tank. Now we're working towards six-, seven-, eight-, nine-sack games."

Images of the Cardinals Cheerleaders from our Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Rams

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