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Darnell Dockett Breaks Out

Posted Sep 22, 2013

Notebook: Dan Williams suffers tragedy; Injuries hit Cardinals

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett tied his career-high with three sacks Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS – Darnell Dockett had said that he felt he had been playing well, and that this new Cardinals’ defensive scheme would help him.

That showed up Sunday during the Cards’ 31-7 loss. Dockett sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees three times – doubling his sack total from all of 2012. The Cards had four sacks on the day (linebacker Sam Acho had the other) after getting just one sack in the first two games.

Dockett was also credited with four quarterback hits and three tackles-for-loss.

“We played well up front,” Dockett said. “We were challenged this week to get after the quarterback. Me personally, I don’t care what I did in the game. I don’t care about stats. I care about wins and losses.

“Anytime I go on the road, you can give me zero tackles, zero everything and give me a win. That’s good enough for me. We fell short as a team. In this business it’s all about wins and losses and we lost today.”

The performance equaled Dockett’s career-best. He had three sacks in a 2009 game at Tennessee and three sacks against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII.

“There were times I thought he got after the quarterback and (got) back there in backfield and was disruptive,” Arians said. “But (to judge) individuals I want to watch the tape.”

DAN WILLIAMS LOSES HIS FATHER

Nose tackle Dan Williams did not play after his father was killed in a car accident before the Cardinals left for New Orleans Saturday. Williams’ mother and sister were in the car, and both are expected to be OK, although Williams’ mother remains in a Jackson, Miss., hospital.

“It was very tough,” Dockett said. “I thought about him in the game a few times. Went out, just played hard for him. We miss him, but family is much more important than the National Football League on any level. He needs to take as much time as he can with his family.”

 Said Arians, “Our prayers and thoughts go to Dan.”

MATHIEU MAKES HIS FIRST INTERCEPTION

Tyrann Mathieu’s second trip to the Superdome went about as well as the first – Mathieu played there for LSU when they lost, 21-0, to Alabama in the national championship game – but the rookie safety did make his first career interception. Covering Lance Moore, Mathieu made the pick in the end zone to thwart a Saints’ scoring opportunity.

“We were in a zone and I just wanted to stay high on my man and not let him get behind me,” Mathieu said. “I was able to do that.”

Mathieu didn’t bother keeping the ball, though.

“It’s just a regular football,” Mathieu said. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

CARDS' INJURIES "NOT GOOD"

Arians didn’t have any specific injury updates after the game but did not sound optimistic.

“It’s not good,” Arians said.  

Three defensive starters left the game – linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (foot), Acho (ankle) and safety Rashad Johnson (finger). Acho tweeted out a photo of his foot in a boot and saying “God has a plan.” He did not accompany the team to Florida.

“We had some critical injuries and young guys had to step in and play,” Arians said. “We have to get them better.”

GRAHAM GETS LOOSE

The Cardinals were concerned about tight end Jimmy Graham coming into the game, and those concerns were justified.

Graham ended up with nine catches for 134 yards and beat Mathieu on a one-on-one jump ball for one touchdown and Patrick Peterson on a slant for a second score.

“Jimmy is like a joker player for us sometimes,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He’ll draw safeties, sometimes he’ll draw a corner. He’s the guy that oftentimes can tell you what coverage you are getting by who ends up on him.”

Losing Johnson in the game might have hampered the Cards’ overall plan in dealing with Graham, and Cards tried a few adjustments to deal with him, to no avail.

“We tried a little bit of everything on him and he just beat us today,” Arians said.

 

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