Arizona Cardinals' defense leads upset of New England Patriots

The Arizona Cardinals' offense and special teams both contributed to the surprising 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots, but the story of the game was the outstanding play of 'Zona's defense. Behind several standout individual performances, the Cardinals were able to hold Tom Brady's explosive offense in check.

The Cardinals employed a two-man defensive front, featuring Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett. They both dominated the line of scrimmage against the run and created consistent pressure against the pass. Campbell had an especially disruptive afternoon; he registered 10 tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss.

Linebacker Daryl Washington is an emerging superstar. He showed off his sideline-to-sideline range, racking up a game-high 13 tackles. His ability to shoot gaps in the run game and match up in pass coverage was very instrumental in slowing down the Patriots' attack.

The secondary of the Cardinals was outstanding from start to finish. Cornerback Patrick Peterson intercepted Brady on the Patriots' very first offensive play of the game, and safety Kerry Rhodes broke up a game-tying two-point conversion with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.