The Cardinals are back to .500, a spot they have been at too often the last two years. They will have a short week to get back above .500 for the first time since January 3rd, 2016. A depleted Cardinals team took on an even more depleted 49ers team, and had one of their better offensive productions of the season. A 20-10 victory was the outcome, behind a strong running game and a smart game from Drew Stanton.
This season we will highlight some of the key stats from Pro Football Focus and bring them to the fans.
- The San Francisco 49ers had trouble tackling Cardinals' RB Adrian Peterson. Peterson forced eight missed tackles, the most of any running back on Sunday. He also earned 110 of his 159 rushing yards after contact.
- WR Larry Fitzgerald was QB Drew Stanton's favorite target on Sunday. Fitzgerald caught five of his nine targets for 70 yards. No other Cardinals' player received more than four targets.
- QB Drew Stanton had a relatively effective day as a passer. Stanton mostly ignored the left side of the field has only 3 passes came outside of the left hashes. He was able to move the ball downfield as he completed seven of 13 passes beyond ten yards for 137 yards, a touchdown, an interception.
- The Cardinals worked the left side of the offensive line on Sunday as they ran 23 of their 40 run plays to the left of center. The Cardinals recorded 122 of their 167 rushing yards behind the left side of the offensive line. When running left, RB Adrian Peterson was able to break runs of 16, 18 and 25 yards.
- The entire offensive line played very well on Sunday. The Cardinals' offensive line only surrendered two hurries (no hits) against the 49ers. Arizona's two pressures allowed were the fewest allowed by any team on Sunday.
- DT Corey Peters dominated the 49ers offensive line on Sunday. Peters' was the highest-graded Cardinal with an 81.9 overall grade. Peters recorded a stop on 22% of his run snaps, which was the second highest rate among defensive tackles on Sunday. He also added one sack, one hit and one pressure on 22 pass rushes.
- Defensive Coordinator James Betcher decided to bring the heat in San Francisco. The Cardinals blitzed on 20 of their 59 pass snaps and recorded pressure 50% of the time. When blitzing, Arizona hit the quarterback five times and sacked him twice.
- CB Patrick Peterson was targeted a season-high eight times on Sunday. He only allowed three completions for 31 yards for a 49.5 passer rating. Peterson added two passes defensed.
- CB Tramon Williams had a good day in coverage. He only allowed two of nine passes thrown his way to be caught for 39 yards, only eight of which came after the catch, and a 45.1 pass rating.
- While he had limited snaps on defense, S Budda Baker continues to shine a special teamer. Baker was the second highest graded special teamer of the week. He recorded two tackles on punts and one on a kickoff. He has the third most tackles among all special teamers this season.
Drew Stanton does not have enough snaps to be ranked among PFF Quarterbacks, but he has a grade of 60.3 on the season.
Larry Fitzgerald ranks 14th among receivers. He tops the team overall, receiving, and run blocking. Jaron Brown (41st) and John Brown (67th) come in second and third respectively in team categories.
Adrian Peterson (65.2) and Andre Ellington (64.9) rank 44th and 45th in the NFL. Peterson is the teams top graded runner, but ranks lower than everyone else in pass blocking, and second to last in receiving.
Jermaine Gresham is the teams top tight end. He ranks 37th in the league with a 56.0 overall. His 80.2 is the teams top run blocking grade.
Since the team replaced Evan Boehm on the offensive line, the unit has seemed to improve. Their grades however, do not show that. Both Earl Watford and Alex Boone are ranked 20 spots lower. Their 36.2 and 32.7 overall grades are ranked 73rd and 79th in the league.
DJ Humphries is the teams best lineman. He is the 15th ranked tackle by PFF. His 87.6 run blocking grade is tops on the team.
Patrick Peterson is currently the 28th(!) ranked corner in the NFL. This is one of the head scratching moments by PFF. Tramon Williams is graded as a safety, but comes out as 56th with a grade of 75.1.
Tyvon Branch and Antoine Bethea are the seventh and eighth ranked safeties in the league.
Karlos Dansby and Deone Bucannon are 71st and 81st ranked linebackers. Haason Reddick sits at 108.
Corey Peters sits at the top of the Cardinals interior linemen. His 81.4 is 35th in the NFL.
Kareem Martin has been filling in nicely for the injured Markus Golden. He is 69th in the league with a 72.0. Chandler Jones sits at 22 with an 83.1 overall.
How are you feeling about the Cardinals after this one? Do you think they could make a run at the playoffs?