The Arizona Cardinals won a shocker in Seattle on Christams Eve. A game many expected the Cardinals to drop, turned into a near repeat of their Week 7 matchup, as both kickers had key misses.
The Cardinals controlled the game for most of the afternoon, until the fourth quarter when Wilson and the Seahawks woke up, and nearly came back from 14 down. A late Palmer drive with a minute to go, and a rushed field goal kick with less than 10 seconds to go, are what spurred the Cardinals ahead of Seattle. We know the final score, but do we know the deeper numbers? Thanks to Pro Football Focus, we do.
- Carson Palmer had one of his best deep throw games against Seattle. He attempted seven passes 20 yards downfield, completing four of them. One of those was the touchdown to JJ Nelson to put the Cardinals ahead 14-0. JJ Nelson and Palmer have built a mutual trust late, and should carry over into 2017.
- JJ Nelson caught three of six passes from Palmer. Nelson racked up 69 yards after the catch and the previously mentioned touchdown. Palmer’s QBR when targetting Nelson was 135.4.
- David Johnson took a poor first half, and turned it into his 15th 100 yard game. He picked up 67 yards after contact, forcing two missed tackles, and punched in three touchdowns. He graded poorly as a pass blocker surrendering two hits on Palmer. He caught four of his seven targets, for 26 yards, including a crucial catch on the Cardinals last minute scoring drive.
- AQ Shipley played his best game of 2016. Of Palmers 30 drop backs, Shipley did not allow a hit, hurry, or sack.
- Calais Campbell continued his push to convince Keim to keep him in the desert. Campbell recored one sack, two hits, and three hurries. He also recorded three run stops.
- Patrick Peterson had a night to forget. He allowed seven completions on seven targets for 72 yards. Russell Wilson’s QBR was 109.5 when targetting Peterson.
- Chandler Jones had a comeback night, after being quite the last few weeks. Jones recorded two sacks and five hurries on 51 pass rush snaps. His season totals sit at 10 sacks, 10 hits, and 41 hurries. He has definitely been a big addition for the Cardinals.
- And lastly, Sio Moore had a nice game in relief of Deone Bucannon. Moore recorded five run stops, to go along with a QB hit and a hurry on only four pass rush snaps. Moore did allow a touchdown in coverage however.
Anything the missed? While these stats are nice, it’s important to note probably the biggest factor in the Cardinals win: The Special Teams unit. While Catanzaro was short on a 53 yard kick, the Special Teams unit forced a block, punted and covered very well, and forced the last missed Extra Point by Seattle. Imagine if this unit played that way all 2016.
And to cap it all off, a belated Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the ROTB Community.