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PFF Grades: Arizona Cardinals advanced stats and snap counts from win over Colts

We continue our weekly PFF stats look. Last week was a sad sight, does a victory change anything?

Arizona Cardinals v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We have partnered up with PFF this year to get us a bit of an advanced look at the Cardinals. Normal stats may not tell the whole story, so delving deeper can help us find an issue with the team that may not be so blatant on film.

Following a week two victory the Cardinals are back on track for a succesful season. Here is a look at some of PFF key stats from week two:


WR J.J. Nelson had a career day on Sunday. Nelson's 3.43 yards per route run was the 2nd highest among WRs and he caught 5 of his 7 targets for 120 yards and a 113.7 passer rating. For his efforts on Sunday, Nelson earned an 85.3 overall grade and his 77.9 season grade is the 14th highest receiver grade.

It was an up and down day for WR Jaron Brown, who replaced WR John Brown in the starting lineup. While he received a 78.3 overall grade and caught 4 passes for 73 yards, he was targeted 11 times and QB Carson Palmer had a 60.0 passer rating when targeting him.

QB Carson Palmer struggled when not blitzed on Sunday. When the Colts did not bring extra defenders, Palmer completed only 44% of his passes and recorded 59.8 passer rating, 30 points lower than the average. When blitzed, Palmer completed 78% of his passes with a 149.1 passer rating, 60 points above the average.

Head Coach Bruce Arians employed an extra offensive lineman on 15 plays (23% of all plays) to help his struggling offensive line. OT Will Holden was the extra offensive lineman and the Cardinals ran the ball on 80% of his snaps. In 2016, the Cardinals only used six offensive linemen 7 times all season.

OT John Wetzel rebounded from his putrid performance last week with a stellar game against the Colts. Wetzel earned an 83.2 overall grade and did not allow a single pressure on 40 pass snaps as the starting left tackle, one of only 8 tackles to not allow a pressure.


S Tyrann Mathieu was all over the field on Sunday. Mathieu rushed the passer 4 times against the Colts and he recorded 3 pressures. The Colts threw at Mathieu 3 times only completing one pass for 14 yards, including an interception and a 9.7 passer rating.

Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Haason Reddick struggled in coverage on Sunday. Combined, the duo allowed 10 receptions on 14 pass attempts for 112 yards, 60 of which were after the catch, and a 94.4 passer rating. Both graded out poorly as Dansby received a 43.5 overall grade and Reddick earned a 38.5 grade.

Edge Chandler Jones dominated the left side of the Colts offensive line. Jones pressured the QB 5 times all lined up as a right defensive end or right outside linebacker. His counterpart Markus Golden also pressured the QB 5 times, which ties them both for the highest amount of pressures among edge defenders on Sunday.

Through 2 games, DT Xavier Williams has proven to be a credible run stopper. Against the Colt, Williams added 2 run stops and has now recorded a run stop on 20% of his run snaps, the 2nd most in the NFL.

The Cardinals secondary shut down the Colts deep passing game. The Colts only completed 4 of 11 passes for 61 yards, an interception and a 17.6 passer rating on passes traveling more than 10 yards down the field.

Individual Stats

Quarterback Carson Palmer is currently PFF’s 17th QB with a 70.6. He grades higher as a rusher (78.5) than a passer (67.7).

Jaron Brown is the teams best run blocking receiver (79.7). He’s the team's third best receiver overall (73.9) behind JJ Nelson (78.0) and John Brown (75.4).

Ifyeani Momah is the teams best overall tight end (43.8). His run blocking of 47.6 tops the squad.

Center AQ Shipley is the team’s best lineman. His 68.0 makes him PFF’s 15th ranked center. His 76.7 pass blocking grade also tops all linemen. Jared Veldheer’s 37.1 overall grade has him ranked as the teams worst lineman. His pass blocking grade is third worst behind John Wetzel (32.5) and Mike Iupati (33.3)

The Cardinals have two players in the secondary that come in the top 15 of their positions. Antonie Bethea, ninth, and Tyvon Branch twelfth. Bethea grades out with an 85.2, with an 81.9 in coverage. Branch grades out with an 82.9 overall, and an 82.2 in coverage. Patrick Peterson ranks 22nd among cornerbacks with an 81.5 overall, and an 81.1 in coverage.

Only two Cardinal linebackers grade close to positive. Josh Bynes is the teams best graded inside linebacker with a 69.6 overall grade. He is their best pass rusher (70.6) and coverage backer (66.2). Haason Reddick has been the team best run stopper with an 83.1 grade. It should be noted that both Karlos Dansby and Haason Reddick’s coverage stats were brought down significantly following their week two issues.

Chandler Jones is the other positive graded linebacker. his 83.6 overall grade is good for 15th best in the league.

Robert Nkemdiche played in his season opener this past week. He graded negatively with a 46.9 overall but is one of the teams better run stoppers with a 72.9 grade.

Snap Counts

The Offense played a total of 66 snaps. Palmer and the whole offensive line were the only players to play all 66.

Ellington lead the backfield with 30. Fitzgerald and Nelson lead the receivers with 62 and 50 respectively.

Defensively the team saw 71 snaps. Only Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Tyvon Branch played all 71 snaps.

Chandler Jones and Markus Golden played 67 and 64 respectively.

Corey Peters lead the D-Line with 43 snaps.

Karlos Dansby’s 69 lead the inside linebackers.

Is there a stat you wish to know? Let me know and I’ll be sure to get you an answer.

All stats courtesy of PFF

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