The game wound up being much closer than it should have been. 31-6 midway through the third quarter of the game is when you start to see some of the young faces play. But a vicious 27 point swing in the fourth quarter saw that lead evaporate. A late pick by Tramon Williams put the Cardinals at the one-yard line, and an Adrian Peterson touchdown sealed the victory.
A win like this should correlate to some PFF grade changes, right? Let us find out.
QB Carson Palmer had one of his best games of the season on Sunday. Palmer was particularly effective on throws between 10 and 19 yards down the field. On those intermediate throws, Palmer completed 11 of 12 passes for 206 yards, three touchdowns, and a 158.3 passer rating.
WR Larry Fitzgerald was the Cardinals go to target against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fitzgerald caught 10 of 11 targets for 138 yards, which helped him ear an 80.2 overall grade. Fitzgerald also recorded 5.75 yards per route run, the 2nd highest mark on Sunday. Fitzgerald did much of his damage lined up outside, as seven of his ten catches came when he was lined up out wide.
RB Adrian Peterson had a great game in his Cardinals debut. On top of his 133 rushing yards, Peterson accrued 56 yards after contact and forced four missed tackles. Arizona running backs had forced six the entire season.
The Cardinals were happy to see LT D.J. Humphries return to the field after sitting out with an injury. Humphries had a 92.7 run block grade, which was the highest among tackles in week 6. When running behind Humphries, Arizona running backs ran for 57 yards on nine carries. Only 18 of those rushing yards came after contact. Humphries also only surrendered two pressures in pass protection.
TE Jermain Gresham had a great game when he was used as a blocker. Despite two penalties, Gresham was still the highest graded run blocker in the league with a 93.8 run blocking grade on Sunday.
The Buccaneers struggled to block Edge Chandler Jones. Jones managed to accrue ten total pressures, including two sacks. Jones’s ten pressures Sunday were the most by an edge defender and he now has the most pressures in the NFL with 33.
CB Patrick Peterson played up to his usual excellent standards on Sunday. Despite suffering from a leg injury, Peterson still posted an 87.3 overall grade. Peterson was only targeted when covering Mike Evans and he did not allow Evans to catch any of the four passes thrown his way. He also added one passes defensed.
CB Tramon Williams had a great game when asked to fill the shoes of the injured Patrick Peterson. Williams only allowed a 41-yard catch. He was targeted five times, had an interception and allowed a 21.7 passer rating when targeted. Williams received an 85.2 coverage grade for his effort on Sunday.
Rookie Haason Reddick was able to get pressure against the Tampa Buccaneers offensive line. Reddick managed to generate 4 pressures, 3 of which were hits, on Sunday. All of his pressures came when lined up on the left side.
S Tyvon Branch has been one of the best run-stuffing safeties in the NFL this year. Branch leads the league with 13 run stops and has the highest run stop percentage (run stops per run snap) at 8.6%. Branch has played within eight yards of the line of scrimmage on 71.7% of his snaps and he leads the league in tackles when lined up in the box.
Carson Palmer grades as the 18th ranked Quarterback. His 75.2 is third in the NFC West, behind Russell Wilson (4th 85.2) and Jared Goff (17th 75.7).
Larry Fitzgerald is the 11th graded receiver in the NFL. His 81.8 grade is the third-best mark in the NFC West, behind Pierre Garcon (6th 83.8) and Doug Baldwin (10th 82.0). Jaron Brown is second on the team with a 76.6, and John Brown is third with a 75.0. Larry Fitzgeralds 71.7 run blocking grade is tops among the team’s receivers.
Andre Ellington is the best ranked Cardinals runningback through six games. His 64.2 is good for 35th in the NFL. However is grade is not best on the team. That award goes to Adrian Peterson. A strong performance on Sunday catapulted AP to a strong 79.2 overall grade. However, his 48 total snaps this season deem him ineligible to be ranked.
Troy Niklas and Jermaine Gresham are ranked 56th and 57th. Niklas is graded as the teams best receiver with a 61.9 receiving grade, while Gresham earns a 77.6 run blocking grade, tops for the tight ends on this team.
AQ Shipley is the 26th ranked center. His 50.2 grade is his worst in six years.
Evan Boehm is the teams best-ranked guard with a 43.2. Alex Boone and Earl Watford have a 39.7 and 34.8 grade respectively. With Boehm now benched, the line looked better, it will be curious to see how those grades change in the upcoming weeks.
Jared Veldheer has appeared to bounced back from a weak start to the season. He is the team’s top-ranked tackle. DJ Humphries is the teams top graded with a 78.4. His 89.3 run blocking grade is tops on the team.
Patrick Peterson is the 25th graded Cornerback. His 82.8 is the third highest grade among the team’s defensive backs. Tyrann Mathieu and Justin Bethel rank 91st and 98th among Corners.
Tyvon Branch is back into the top five after his game against Tampa. His 88.6 is the teams best grade. Antoine Bethea recorded his third straight game with a pick. His 84.7 grade is good for 13th in the NFL. Tramon Williams, listed as a safety, has a 77.1 overall grade with a 79.7 coverage grade.
Haason Reddick is the top graded inside linebacker on the team. He sits at 59th with a 46.3 grade. Karlos Dansby and Deone Bucannon have 44.2 and 35.0 grades good for 65th and 78th.
Corey Peters is the top graded interior lineman on the team. His 82.0 is 22nd in the league. Xavier Williams went down with an injury this week, but it was labeled as a “sore MCL”. His 77.9 is second on the team.
Chandler Jones continues to play well after his contract extension. His 85.0 grade is 13th among edge defenders. He leads the league in pressures and tackles for loss.
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