Tell me if you have heard these phrases before. Non-existent running game, dropped passes, bad play calling, or bad defense? All of the above? Perfect. These terms sum up the Cardinals play as a team on Sunday. There were, however, some impressive individual performances against the Texans that are worth highlighting.
Luckily for me, the fine folks over at Pro Football Focus compile a weekly list of the Cardinals top (or worst) performers from their game each and every week. Typically this season the results have been negative, but for this game the reviews were more positive. So without further ado here are the advanced numbers from PFF.
- Pass catchers that weren't named Larry Fitzgerald or Ricky Seals-jones struggled. When QB Blaine Gabbert targeted the other pass catchers he completed ten of 18 passes for 118 yards, two interceptions, and 36.1 passer rating. The other receivers also dropped two passes.
- QB Blaine Gabbert had an up and down performance Sunday. He did find success throwing the ball ten-plus yards down the field. He completed nine of 18 passes for 160 yards and all three of his touchdowns. He did not attempt a pass over 20 yards, which is the first time this season an Arizona quarterback has not attempted a deep pass.
- TE Ricky Seals-Jones had a career day. Seals-Jones only ran five routes and was targeted on all five routes. He caught three passes for 54 yards, two touchdowns, and a 136.7 passer rating. He received an 85.4 overall grade.
- WR Larry Fitzgerald had another stellar performance. He caught nine of ten targets for 91 yards, one touchdown, and a 137.9 passer rating. Fitzgerald currently has an 83.8 season overall grade, the ninth highest among all receivers.
- The Cardinals offensive line did their job in pass protection against the Texans. The line only allowed four total pressures on 40 pass snaps. Both Center A.Q. Shipley and Guard Alex Boone did not allow a pressure. LT Jared Veldheer allowed one pressure, which was a sack and RT John Wetzel surrendered a team-high 2 pressures.
- In his first career start, S Budda Baker surpassed last week's great effort as he recorded a 99.9 overall grade against Houston. He allowed two of three catches to be caught for 18 yards and he had 1 pass breakup. He was even better rushing the passer, as he recorded three pressures on three pass rushes, including a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He added nine tackles and three stops.
- After fighting through injuries most of the year, DI Robert Nkemdiche graded out well on Sunday. Nkemdiche received an 80.8 overall grade. He pressured the quarterback twice and added a run stop.
- CB Patrick Peterson battled WR Deandre Hopkins all day. Peterson allowed Hopkins to catch three of seven passes for 65 yards and one touchdown. Peterson was able to break up one of the passes thrown in Hopkins' direction.
- Filling in for the injured Corey Peters, DT Olsen Pierre had a great day. Pierre graded out with an 82.6 overall grade. Pierre hurried the quarterback twice and added two stops in the run game.
- CB Tyrann Mathieu had a great day in run support. His 87.2 run defense grade was the highest on the Cardinals on Sunday. Mathieu recorded five stops and seven total tackles. He also added a hurry as a pass rusher.
Is there a stat you wish to see? Let me know in the comments and I will try to get it answered for you.