The Arizona Cardinals got little from Chandler Jones in terms of sacks in 2020. He had one in four games and then was lost for the season with a torn biceps. That was a huge blow to the defense and the pass rush.
However, with his injury, it created an opportunity for other players.
Haason Reddick had 12.5 sacks, including 7.5 in the final four games. Dennis Gardeck, getting defensive snaps for the first time in his NFL career, had seven sacks in only 93 snaps.
However, even with this production from two players, the Cardinals rank only in the 20s in Pro Football Focus’ final 2020 rankings for teams’ pass rush.
They are No. 21.
The Cardinals got just over four games from their best pass-rusher, Chandler Jones, before he was knocked out for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury. That’s always going to hurt a team’s pass-rushing unit.
Arizona did get surprisingly efficient play from Haason Reddick off the edge, however. Reddick had 57 career pressures coming into this year, and he came out of this season nearly matching that total in 2020 alone with 55 pressures, including 12.5 NFL sacks. It was a good time for a career year, as Reddick is set to enter free agency this offseason.
The Cardinals actually finished fourth in the NFL with 48 sacks as a team.
Watching the team in 2020, they lacked consistent pressure. They did get sacks and did force fumbles, but there was not consistent pressure to affect the passing game significantly.
Chandler Jones returns, but Reddick, Gardeck and Markus Golden will all be free agents. If they do not bring back any of those players, will Jones’ presence be enough for 2021?