ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 27: Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates returning a punt for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 27, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Rams 23-20. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
As they do each week, Pro Football Focus does a 'refocus' on every single game from the previous weekend. In the refocus they did on the Cardinals' 23-20 win over the St. Louis Rams, they mentioned three notable performances on the Cardinals. Two of them obviously were Beanie Wells and Patrick Peterson, but the third might surprise you. They praised the play of left guard Daryn Colledge, rating him the highest of all the Cardinals players on Sunday.
Colledge had himself a great game and was a key factor for the performance of Beanie Wells on route to his franchise record breaking rushing day. Write PFF:
While many people will be talking about Wells and his record today, the best player on offense will likely get no press (well apart from us obviously). Since moving to Arizona Daryn Colledge (+6.7) hasn't had the easiest of times but perhaps this was his break-out game. Back in 2008 we saw him as one of the best young guards in the league but for whatever reason, after the Packers disastrous use of him as a left tackle early in 2009, he's seemed little more than a journeyman player. Here though, he looked backed to his 2008 best, giving up nothing in pass protection and making a very good player in James Laurinaitis (-4.4) look particularly poor. For those who are thinking he did most of that damage at the second level, you'd be wrong. Nearly everything the Cardinals did was focused on getting him pulling either right, where he would usually then come up against Laurinaitis or left where he would get the better of ex-teammate Brady Poppinga (-3.5). For example at 7:10 left in the third Wells picks up seven yards behind his block as Poppinga ends up on the ground.
When he was signed by the Cardinals this past offseason, his reputation was that he was a decent pass blocker but not so great in run blocking. So far this season, he has been a big part of Wells' career year. Through 11 games, the Cardinals run the ball most successfully between Colledge and center Lyle Sendlein, averaging 7.6 yards per attempt.
It is certainly good to see a Cardinals offensive lineman get recognized for good play. This year, we have seen far too many weeks of either Levi Brown or Brandon Keith being recognized for ineptitude. To see Colledge get graded so highly is truly great.
PFF also praised Peterson for is special teams play, but were not so generous with the praise for his play on defense. They disparaged about any thought that he should be in the picture for defensive rookie of the year.
Besides Peterson, Wells and Colledge, is there anyone else you think that should be recognized for their "below the radar" play?