Given the offensive performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, virtually every other NFL team would have demolished the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Arizona played superb defense, but that could be attributed to the change at quarterback and the general lack of talent Tampa fields on a weekly basis.
The fact that the Cardinals pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback is promising nonetheless, and there were a few very good performances throughout the contest.
Here are some of those performances, graded by ProFootballFocus.com as always, along with two performances on the other end of the spectrum.
LG Daryn Colledge (+2.4)
For the second straight week, left guard Daryn Colledge was given a grade of greater than +2.0 -- a stark contrast to the first two weeks of the season, when he struggled to grades of -1.8 and -1.3, respectively.
Colledge allowed just one QB hit according to PFF, a sign he's gotten back to his 2012 ways after initially moving to right guard following the team selecting Jonathan Cooper in the most recent draft.
He was equally good in both pass-pro (+1.1) and run-pro (+1.1), which is an even better sign. The past two seasons in Arizona, he has been one or the other -- good at protecting the quarterback or the running back.
For the season, Colledge is the fourth-ranked pass-blocking guard, at a +4.4.
WR Larry Fitzgerald (+2.2)
If not for a target-less first half, Larry Fitzgerald may have had the highest offensive grade on the squad this week. He was open at times throughout the first two quarters while working against cornerback Darrelle Revis, but Carson Palmer never gave him a look.
His passing-game grade was a +1.1, which was indicative of his second-half performance. Where he really shined was in run-blocking. He earned a +0.9 in the department, good enough for fourth-best on the team (it was a brilliant day in the run-blocking department for many players).
RB Rashard Mendenhall (-3.5)
"I think his lack of practice time is really starting to show up in the games."
That was head coach Bruce Arians on running back Rashard Mendenhall during the postgame presser, courtesy of Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com.
He struggled to hit running lanes with authority, and he inexplicably dropped a swing pass on the first drive of the game that may have resulted in a first down.
He carried 12 times for just 21 yards (1.8 YPC), which is terrible even by Cardinals standards. Meanwhile, Andre Ellington carried four times for 29 yards (7.3 YPC) and is averaging 6.2 YPC on the season.
It could be time to see how Ellington does with a bigger role and activate Ryan Williams on game day. Mendenhall is not getting it done.
Other grades of note
RT Eric Winston (+1.0), TE Jim Dray (+0.9), QB Carson Palmer (+0.8), RB Andre Ellington (+0.3), WR Andre Roberts (-0.8), Steelers LT Levi Brown (-1.0), LG Nate Potter (-2.3)
CB Patrick Peterson (+4.4)
For his Week 4 efforts, cornerback Patrick Peterson was named the NFC defensive player of the week. He was glued to wideout Vincent Jackson all afternoon, allowing just one reception for 13 yards on eight targets and had two crucial interceptions. His passer rating allowed for the game? Zero. Point. Zero.
It's a nice turnaround from the first three games of the season, when Peterson had a perfect 158.3 passer rating allowed against him. The performance lowered his season PRA to 82.7, which is a far more respectable number.
Expect that to drop further in the coming weeks.
DE/OLB Matt Shaughnessy (+4.3)
Defensive end/outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy earned the second-highest game grade of his career Sunday. His only grade higher came Week 11 of the 2010 season while with the Oakland Raiders, a +5.9 outburst against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His +3.0 grade against the run was the highest on the team, and his +1.1 pass-rushing grade the third-highest, behind only outside linebacker Dontay Moch (+1.2) and defensive end Darnell Dockett (+1.6).
That kind of performance is just what the defense needs from a position tattered with injuries. Shaughnessy should remain the starter the remainder of the season, most likely on the left side with John Abraham starting on the right.
DE Calais Campbell (-2.6)
With everyone playing so well on defense Sunday, it's odd to see Calais Campbell -- who is a leader and one of the best players on that side of the ball -- as the worst-rated player against Tampa.
He struggled to defend the run (-1.0) and did not create any sort of pass rush (-0.9) outside of one instance in which he hit rookie quarterback Mike Glennon as he released a pass.
Hopefully, we can chock it up to being a bad day for Campbell. He gets a big test this week against the Carolina Panthers and their outstanding offensive line.
Other grades of note
DE Frostee Rucker (+2.6), CB Jerraud Powers (+2.4), NT Alameda Ta'amu (+1.6), FS Tyrann Mathieu (+1.5), SS Yeremiah Bell (+1.3), DE Darnell Dockett (+0.8), DE Ronald Talley (-2.0)
One final note
After a combined 31 missed tackles the first three weeks of the season, the Arizona defense didn't miss one against Tampa Bay. That's a huge reason they were so dominant against the Buccaneers and is promising as the Panthers come into town.
Running back DeAngelo Williams and wideout Steve Smith have made a living on yards after contact/yards after the catch, so tackling will be ever-important this week.