Handling blitz is key to beating Cardinals

The Washington Redskins didn't create some blueprint to beat the Dallas Cowboys with their blitzing attack Monday night.

They just executed their plan well, and the Cowboys didn't. The Cowboys missed too many assignments whether we're talking the offensive line, running backs or tight ends, and quarterback Tony Romo didn't consistently get rid of the ball fast enough.

For now, the Washington loss is an aberration.

That's because Romo has been outstanding against the blitz much of the season. He has completed 49 of 75 passes against the blitz for 634 yards with eight touchdowns, two interceptions and a 116.2 passer rating.

But he has also been sacked 11 times against the blitz, tying the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Chad Henne for most in the league.

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles blitzes about 30 percent of the time when opponents pass, but he really unleashes the blitz when teams face third-and-long.

Bowles has called blitzes 72.9 percent (27 of 37 plays) on third down and 7 yards or more. If the Cowboys don't want to see the blitz, they have to run the ball well on first and second down so they can avoid third-and-long.

Just so you know, Arizona leads the NFL in run defense.

"We got caught a couple of times with the blitz and we didn't execute some things that were there, which is what stops people from blitzing," Linehan said. "We expect more blitzes, we're accustomed to it.

"The long runs we've had, the average per carry we've had, the average per pass attempt is because we've been pretty good against the blitz all year."

Handling blitz is key to beating Cardinals Handling blitz is key to beating Cardinals Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 7:16:00 PM Rating: 5

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