Jalen Thompson Finds Himself In Hot Streak On Defense That Needs It

Zach Gershman
4 Min Read



The Cardinals have put a lot on Jalen Thompson’s plate, coach Jonathan Gannon said.

It was fitting that in the first game after Thanksgiving, the safety feasted against the Rams with his second consecutive game with an interception.

“He does it all for us and the takeaway is a byproduct of being in the right position and playmaking,” Gannon said. “He’s had a good run here in the last month or so.”

The defense did not have a good day Sunday in a 37-14 defeat, but Thompson has stood out. Since returning from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss Week 6 against the Rams and Week 7 against the Seahawks, Thompson has 29 tackles along with his first career sack after taking down C.J. Stroud in Houston.

Thompson also picked off Stroud before foiling Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford Sunday right before halftime — an interception he might’ve returned for a touchdown had he not slipped to the turf. 

“It’s just the work from the week,” Thompson said. “It’s detail in certain things. Coaches made a fantastic call right there, so hats off to them for that.”

Stafford said that the Cardinals were playing deep on a lot of the Rams play-action passes, “just trying to count on me throwing it down the field, and I was just trying to check it down.” Still, Thompson got the better of the Rams field general.

“I thought 34 (Thompson) made a nice play,” Stafford said. “Saw a window there earlier in the game and tried to go back to it, but he did a nice job of squatting on it.”

Fellow safety Budda Baker told Thompson chided Thompson for falling and missing on a chance at a touchdown. 

A big part of Thompson’s success has been because of the attention Baker draws. The chemistry the duo has positively impacts the Cardinals defense.

“I think between him and Budda, they have a really good understanding of where each guy is going to be,” Gannon said. “The pre-snap stuff of making certain calls, making sure everyone’s on the same page, adjusting the formations and the coverages, fitting in the run game.”

Against the Rams, Thompson was the third-leading tackler, two behind Baker and cornerback Kei’Trel Clark. 

“He’s doing a great job getting to the football and doing a great job of being that leader on the defense as well,” Baker said. “I’m very excited for him to continue to play good football. At the end of the day, we want to win.”

EXTRA POINT

After missing three of the last four games with a shoulder injury, Gannon said that wide receiver Michael Wilson is “trending the right way.” The organization wants to do what’s best for the team, but also for Wilson. Gannon followed that up by saying that they will see how the week goes for the rookie wide receiver ahead of Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh before the Week 13 Bye.


Zach Gershman www.azcardinals.com

SOURCE
2023-11-27 23:35:47 , News

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