The Arizona Cardinals lost on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The eye test and the numbers showed us Carson Palmer was solid, but made critical mistakes. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown played well. The offensive line did not.
The grades are in from Pro Football Focus and they say much of the same thing.
Despite throwing two interceptions, and one at a critical moment of the game, quarterback Carson Palmer received a very high +5.6 for his play. His accuracy and throws in the middle of the field stood out. On intermediate throws (10-19 yards down the field) between the numbers, he was 8/9 for 123 yards.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson, who covered Antonio Brown the whole game, played very well. Brown only had three catches for 24 yards. PFF gave him a +3.0 for his play.
Receivers John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald also had positive grades for the game and are among the league's best in productions. PFF has a stat for yards gained per route run. Fitz is second in the league with 2.96 yards per route. He leads all of the NFL with 12 catches of more than 20 yards, so that helps. After a 10-catch, 196-yard performance, Brown is now seventh, averaging 2.58 yards per route.
Defensively, outside of Peterson, rookie nose tackle Rodney Gunter was the other standout.
Not all was good. Everyone on the offensive line outside of Mike Iupati graded out negatively. Left tackle Jared Veldheer was given a -4.4, his worst game grade since coming to Arizona.
Running back Chris Johnson, who has been very good so far this season, struggled against Pittsburgh. PFF gave him a -3.0 and, more notably, he did not make anyone miss a tackle for the first time this season.
Palmer was under pressure in 15 of 46 dropbacks, while only one Cardinals player generated more than one pressure against the Steelers -- Markus Golden, who had only two.