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2014 Regular Season
Offensive & Defensive Formations

If you're like me, your brain becomes addled as you listen to former players on radio or TV use esoteric terms as "11 personnel", "Big Nickel" or Base defense. In breaking down the Cardinal offensive and defensive tendencies used by the Cards in Game #1 vs. the Chargers, the Revenge of the Birds website does a pretty good job of outlining various formations used on both sides of the ball. (Caution: ROB refers to Cardinal players who were in the line-up at the time; so their references to specific Cardinal players may get old pretty quickly). In any case, fellow Cardinal fans - this page is for you.

Offense (65 snaps)

"11" Personnel (27 snaps)

  • 3 WR
  • 1 RB
  • 1 TE

"12" Personnel (20 snaps)

  • 2 WR
  • 1 RB
  • 2 TE

"10" Personnel (5 snaps)

  • 4 WR
  • 1 RB
  • 0 TE

"Zero" Personnel (4 snaps)

  • 5 WR
  • 0 RB
  • 0 TE

"13" Personnel (3 snaps)

  • 1 WR
  • 1 RB
  • 3 TE

"2-Backs Deep" (3 snaps)

  • 2 WR
  • 2 RB
  • 1 TE

Defense (60 Downs)

"Big Nickel" or "Dime" (30 downs)

  • 2 DE's (no NT)
  • 3 LB's (2 OLB, 1 ILB - Bucannon as "Dollar LB; Foote the only ILB)
  • 6 DB's (including Powers in the slot)

"Base 3- 4" (21 downs)

  • 3 DL's (rotating Williams and Ta'amu at NT)
  • 4 LB's
  • 4 DB's

"Base Look" (6 downs)

  • 3 DL's
  • 4 LB's (with Bucannon in for Minter inside)
  • 4 DB's

"True Nickel" (1 down)

  • 2 DL's
  • 4 LB's (Minter at ILB)
  • 5 DB's (Powers in the slot)

"8-Man Front" (2 downs)
This was the formation that allowed Matthews to waltz in from the 20.

  • 4 DL
  • 4 LB
  • 3 DB

Now, in cocktail party conversation, you can toss around insider terminology like "Big Nickel" or "12 Personnel" with the best of them.


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