D leading way for Bears, Cards

The Bears and Cardinals are both on the periphery of the playoff picture due to the play of their defenses.

Originally Published: November 19, 2004
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider
Editor's Note: ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski opens up the film vault to analyze the surprising play of the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears' stout defenses.

The Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears are both 4-5 and on the periphery of the playoff picture due to the exceptional play of their defenses. Before the season neither was thought to have the components necessary to prop up their offenses, but they are both doing a great job keeping their teams in the playoff hunt.

The first thing I noticed about the defense of Cardinals defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast is that it plays with a lot of energy. I see this unit playing with tremendous energy and getting a lot of hats on the ball. More important, the members of the Cardinals' defense seem to enjoy playing together. They also have outstanding gap discipline and reaction skills coupled with an aggressive approach.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.