Sunday’s game was an absolute snooze-fest. At least it was for the first 57 minutes. The final three saw a Cardinals red zone stand and the offense march down the field for the game-winning touchdown. We still saw many of the team's issues that plagued them through the first three games. Offensive Line protection was still atrocious. Currently, this team has allowed the most hits on Palmer in the NFL with 75.
So what does PFF have to say about the Cardinals production this week?
- QB Carson Palmer was under pressure all day on Sunday. Palmer was sacked 6 times, hit 10 times and hurried 7 times. The Cardinals offensive line has allowed the most pressures in the NFL with 75. The next closest team is the Houston Texans who have allowed 67 pressures.
- To help Palmer get the ball out of his hand quickly, the Cardinals' QB has the 2nd lowest dropback depth in the NFL at 7.1. The NFL average is 7.6 yards per dropback.
- RB Andre Ellington was a big part of the gameplan against the 49ers. Ellington caught 9 of 13 targets for 86 yards, 52 of which came after the catch. Ellington had the most snaps in route with 36 among RBs and he also dropped 2 of 3 passes when he was lined up as a receiver.
- WR Jaron Brown was the most targeted Cardinals' wide receiver. Brown caught 8 of 12 targets for 105 yards and a 94.1 passer rating. Brown also had 4 catches of 10+ yards.
- QB Carson Palmer was better when Kept Clean on Sunday. Palmer completed 24-36 passes for 252 yards, 1 TD, and a 96.1 passer rating when Kept Clean. When he was under pressure, Palmer completed 9 of 15 passes for 105 yards, 1 INT, and a 53.5 passer rating.
- Though Edge Chandler Jones didn't register a sack, he was the Cardinals most productive pass rusher. Jones recorded 6 pressures on Sunday, 5 of which came from the right side. Those 5 pressures were the most by an edge rusher from the right side on Sunday.
- Tyrann Mathieu seemed like his old self against San Francisco. Mathieu registered 2 pressures on 3 pass rushes, one of which was a sack. He was also targeted a team-high 13 times and only allowed 6 catches for 52 yards, a 57.2 passer rating and had 1 pass defended. The Honey Badger also recorded 12 tackles and 5 stops, the 5 stops were most among CBs in week 4.
- Tyvon Branch continued his excellent play on Sunday. Branch's 88.8 overall grade was the highest grade of the Cardinals' players and with his performance, he owns a 91.1 overall season grade, the highest among safeties. Branch leads all safeties with 10 run stops and 15 tackles on runs.
- The Cardinals secondary severely limited the 49ers downfield passing attack. On passes attempted 10+ yards down the field the Cardinals allowed 7 of 21 passes to be caught for 109 yards, 1 INT and a 31.65 passer rating.
- Despite giving up one big play, CB Justin Bethel had one of his better games. Bethel only allowed 3 of 9 passes to be caught for 48 yards, a 52.1 passer rating and 1 pass defended. 7 of the targets came when Bethel covered 49ers WR Aldrick Robinson.
Carson Palmer and the starting line played all 86 offensive snaps. Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown paced the receivers with 82 each.
Despite Chris Johnson being the teams “starting” running back, Andre Ellington lead in snaps for the third consecutive week.
Defensively the Cardinals had four players play all 84 snaps. Tyvon Branch, Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Bethel, and Chandler Jones. Patrick Peterson missed one snap, and I'm still trying to figure out when this occurred.
Carson Palmer sits as PFF’s 20th ranked Quarterback with a 74.1.
Fitzgerald, Jaron and John Brown all rank inside the top 40. Fitz leads the group with a 78.9 at 23rd. Jaron sits at a 75.3 and John with a 74.4.
Ellington is the teams best graded running back. His 62.4 is better than “starter” Chris Johnson’s 59.0
Troy Niklas sits as the teams best ranked tight end with a 43.9. Momah has the best overall grade, but his 20 snaps left him invalid to be ranked.
The Offensive Line has no positive graded starters. Currently, Humphries has the best grade, but he has been unable to return to the field.
Patrick Peterson is shockingly the 43rd ranked Cornerback. Bethel and Mathieu rank 59th and 101st.
Tyvon Branch is PFF’s #1 safety. Antoine Bethea is the 17th.
Haason Reddick and Karlos Dansby are 53 and 56. Both have definitely had their ups and downs this season.
Corey Peters is the 17th ranked interior defender. Olsen Pierre is unranked but was incredibly impressive in his game against San Francisco.
Chandler Jones is the 17th outside rusher. Markus Golden will finish his season with a 48.2 overall grade. An unfortunate injury for a guy who was trying to find his footing this year.
Are the Cardinals perfect? Definitely not. But it’s not a team that is going to lay back and croak. We still have long ways to go before the end of the season. Time will tell how good or bad this team will be.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus