The Arizona Cardinals had a rough go of it against the Atlanta Falcons, but there were some bright spots, and some bad spots.
Let’s take a look at the Pro Football Focus stats and notes from the Arizona Cardinals loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
David Johnson carried the ball only 13 times against the Falcons as the Cardinals rarely ran the ball. Johnson did contribute 39 yards after contact and forced 2 missed tackles as a runner. Johnson saw a team-high 10 passes thrown his way - catching 8 - and providing 74 yards after the catch. Carson Palmer’s QB rating when targeting Johnson was 142.9.
There were not enough runs in the game, everyone knew it, but this just confirms it. David Johnson is an incredible weapon, he needs to be the workhorse not just in touches, but he needs to control the tempo and flow of the game for the Arizona Cardinals. Abandoning the run, doesn’t help that.
D.J. Humphries played one of his better games of the season as he made his first start at left tackle. He didn’t allow any sacks or hits of Palmer but did allow 3 pressures on 51 pass blocking snaps.
Good to see the young tackle step up in his first try at left tackle. He will likely remain there the rest of the season... and probably Jared Veldheer will have to take the spot from him.
Patrick Peterson was thrown at 6 times and allowed 4 catches for 58 yards with 10 yards coming after the catch. In his matchup with Julio Jones those numbers were 5 targets and 3 catches for 31 yards.
We talked about Peterson’s performance being good, but also bad, when you include some iffy pass interference calls, plus his lack of awareness on the first touchdown from Taylor Gabriel.
Other Defensive Notes from Pro Football Focus:
Calais Campbell had his usual strong performance against the run with 2 run stops. Campbell also added 1 QB hit and 1 hurry on 37 pass rush snaps.
Tyrann Mathieu came up with a sack on his 2 pass-rush snaps. In coverage Mathieu was thrown at 6 times and allowed 5 catches for 62 yards with 1 TD and one pass broken up. Matt Ryan’s QB rating when throwing into Mathieu’s coverage was 149.3.
D.J. Swearinger had a team-high overall grade of 85.5 against the Falcons. He graded well in coverage (83.5) and as a run defender (86.7). He had one interception and dropped another. He also added 3 run stops.
Chandler Jones had 33 pass-rush snaps against the Falcons but failed to generate any QB pressures. He did add one run stop.
Not a strong game from Mathieu and Jones, and when that happens, well the other team is going to score 38 points.
Andre Ellington did not have a single carry but was thrown at 5 times against the Falcons. Ellington caught 2 of the passes but only added 3 yards after the catch.
Larry Fitzgerald caught all 4 of the passes thrown his way against the Falcons. Fitzgerald’s catches came against 3 different coverage defenders and Carson Palmer’s QB rating when throwing at Fitzgerald was 118.8.
Carson Palmer failed to complete any of his 4 deep passes (targeted 20 or more yards downfield) against the Falcons. Carson Palmer’s QB rating fell from 114.7 with no pressure to only 15.4 with pressure.
The offense struggled, but Palmer played well when he had time. The difference in Palmer this year is how bad he is under pressure. Not that he is expected to be great, but a QB rating of 15.4 under pressure is not going to get it done by anyone.
Ellington, well, he is an afterthought in this offense at this point.
Anything else standout to you?