The Arizona Cardinals' found a match for their top-ranked offense on Sunday. Their own defense.
The Cardinals registered a staggering nine sacks in a suffocating defensive effort against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a 38-8 romp on Sunday, wrapping up a first-round bye in the postseason while running their winning streak to nine games.
Defensive tackle Calais Campbell, named to the Pro Bowl last week, led the charge with 2 1/2 sacks and three tackles for losses for Arizona, which still has a chance at the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
"I thought Calais was impressive," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said in his postgame press conferences. "That's what we expect out of him every week."
The Packers arrived in Arizona on a three-game winning streak during which they averaged 28.3 points and had a chance at the No. 2 seed, but they were never a factor against the relentless pressure of the Cardinals.
"There is a certain thing about championship football, you play with a little more fire. And this was one of those games we felt like there was a chance to make a statement," Campbell said. "They're a good team and they came in here and made it hard on us, but we just kept making plays and things just went our way, kept falling in our hands and we kept making plays."
Veteran linebacker Dwight Freeney, signed in mid-October as a situational pass rusher, tacked on three sacks to boost his team-leading total to seven - all coming in the past seven games. Freeney compared the Cardinals to the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis powerhouse teams on which he made a name for himself.
"It is very similar type of feel," Freeney said. "We were humming in Indy, 05, 06, 07 -- those years it was a lot of points. getting up and then having the defense chase the quarterback. ... The best thing right now is we're playing the best ball in the end of December, championship type of football now. So we're picking up steam."