While some teams like to hide their tendencies, the Cardinals are straight-forward with theirs. Against the Indianapolis Colts in week two, Arizona got caught up in a play-calling pattern on defense.
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On first down, the Cardinals ran either “Cover 2 Man” or “Cover 1 with a robber.” The former features every corner and linebacker manned up against a receiver or tight end, with two safeties deep in coverage.
The latter is much like “Cover 2 Man,” except one of the safeties takes a tight end, and the middle linebacker sits in zone coverage.
On second down, the Cardinals revealed an interesting new wrinkle. Every time Indianapolis got into second and more than six they switched to zone coverage. This was a big shift from their usual philosophy, and was surprising,
On third down, Arizona went back to playing man-coverage with an occasional blitz. However, rather than rushing more linebackers, they predominantly brought Mathieu off the slot.
They ran this blitz at least three times against the Colts, forcing quarterback Jacoby Brissett to get rid of the ball quickly.