Photo Caption: Cards’ TE Maxx Williams earned highest player PFF grade in Week 2. From now on the player with the highest grade each week, earns the feature photo.
Team Grades (Difference from Week 1 to Week 2)
The 1st two are the combined grades and NFL rankings from Weeks 1 and 2. the come the Week 2 grade and the number of points dropped or improved.
Overall: 65.3—-22nd (NFL)—-Week 2: 60.5—-Minus 6 (slight drop)
Passing: 64.6—-22nd—-Week 2: 64.8—-Plus 1.4 (slight improvement)
Pass Blocking: 62.6—-14th—-Week 2: 61.0—-Minus 11.6 (significant drop)
Receiving: 66.9—-20th—-Week 2: 68.5—-Plus 4.8 (slight improvement)
Running: 71.8—-13th—-Week 2: 70.0—-Plus 1.8 (slight improvement)
Run Blocking: 48.1—-29th—-Week 2: 32.8—-Minus 28.0 (major drop)
Defense: 60.7—-24th—-Week 2: 57.3—-Minus 6.3 (slight drop)
Tackling: 60.2—-16th—-Week 2: 50.5—-Minus 29.7 (major drop)
Pass Rush: 68.4—-18th—-Week 2: 53.0—-Minus 25.8 (major drop)
Coverage: 55.6—-21st—-Week 2: 62.9—-Plus 11.9 (significant improvement)
Special Teams: 71.0—-7th—-Week 2: 45.5—-Minus 40.0 (major drop)
Significant improvements: 1 (Pass coverage)
Slight improvements: 3 (Passing, Receiving, Running)
Slight drops: 2 (Overall, Defense)
Significant drops: 1 (Pass Blocking)
Major Drops: 4 (Run Blocking, Tackling, Pass Rush, Special Teams)
- Improvements: 4—-Drops 7
Player Grades: Offense
WR Christian Kirk: 71.6
WR Larry Fitzgerald: 60.8
WR KeeSean Johnson: 71.3
LT D.J. Humphries: 51.2 (65.0 PB, 41.7 RB)
LG Justin Pugh: 68.7 (78.5 PB, 60.0 RB)
C A. Q. Shipley: 52.3 (57.2 PB, 47.3 RB)
RG J. R. Sweezy: 59.3 (78.5 PB, 46.7 RB)
RT Justin Murray: 41.1 (37.6 PB, 53.5 RB)
TE Maxx Williams: 87.5
TE Charles Clay: 50.5
QB Kyler Murray: 68.8
RB David Johnson: 64.7
RB Chase Edmonds: 64.7
WR Damiere Byrd: 57.2
WR Michael Crabtree: 55.3
- The WR grades are lower than expected because of poor run blocking grades.
- Good guard play from Justin Pugh and J.R. Sweezy, both scoring 78.5 in pass pro. Credit Pugh for playing sick after taking multiple IVs. Sweezy’s run grade was lowered significantly because of the holding penalty, but, as we saw, that was a phantom call.
- Poor tackle and center play, although Humphries’ pass blocking grade was decent at 65.0.
- Maxx Williams earned the only “elite” grade. The Cardinals should try to sign him to an extension, asap. It would send a very good message to the team.
- Despite the significant drop in pass protection, Kyler Murray improved his QB grades from 53.4 overall in Week 1 to 68.8 overall in Week 2 and his passing grade from 52.6 in Week 1 to 66.3 in Week 2.
- Top 5 grades: Maxx Williams 87.5, Christian Kirk 71.6, KeeSean Johnson 71.3, Kyler Murray 68.8, Justin Pugh 68.5. 1 “elite” grade—-4 “above average” grades.
Player Grades: Defense
OLB Terrell Suggs: 59.6
DE Rodney Gunter: 63.8
NT Corey Peters: 60.2
DE Zach Allen: 60.4
OLB Chandler Jones: 48.2
SILB Jordan Hicks: 44.9
WILB Haason Reddick: 42.5
CB Tramaine Brock: 66.8
SS Budda Baker: 79.0
FS D.J. Swearinger: 55.5
CB Byron Murphy: 71.3
NCB Chris Jones: 60.2
NFS Deionte Thompson: 64.1
NDE: Cassius Marsh: 58.4
NDE: Brooks Reed: 42.3
DT Miles Brown: 62.9
DT Clinton McDonald: 57.0
LB Joe Walker: 34.7
- Solid job by the Cardinals’ interior defensive line.
- Rough day all around for the Cardinals linebackers, inside and outside—-a major step back from Week 1. Tackling issues are very troubling. Of course, losing contain repeatedly on a dynamic dual-threat QB made matters considerably worse.
- Improved performance from the Cardinals secondary, despite lack of pass rush this week.
- Playing SS this week, Budda Baker upped his grade by 10 points, while D.J. Swearinger, despite moving back to FS, earned his second below average grade in a row.
- Top 5 Grades: Budda Baker 79.0, Byron Murphy 71.3, Tramaine Brock 66.8, Deionte Thompson 64.1, Rodney Gunter 63.8. 2 “high quality” grades, 3 “above average” grades.
- Baker and Murphy were the only two players on defense to earn “high quality” grades.
Player Grades: Special Teams
- Top 5 grades: Aaron Brewer 81.2, Zeke Turner 64.9, D.J. Foster 61.6, Jalen Thompson 61.3, J.R. Sweezy 60.8. 1 “high quality grade, 1 “above average” grade, 3 “average” grades. Quite a difference from week 1 when the Cardinals had 3 “elite” ST grades and 2 “high quality” grades in their top 5 ST grades. We have to hope the “head hunters” and not the “head cases” return this week.
- P Andy Lee: 60.4, Zane Gonzalez: 60.0, Damiere Byrd: 60.0, Christian Kirk 60.0. All “average’ grades.
The PFF grades this week strongly suggest that the Cardinals are getting carried by the younger players and are not getting the kind of quality play from a number of their veterans who typically can make the difference between winning and losing. Go back and check the top 5 grades in all three phases. The vast majority of them were earned by players with fewer than 5 full years of experience. The only veterans to crack the top 5 in their phases this week were LS Aaron Brewer (STs), G Justin Pugh (Offense) and G J.R. Sweezy (STs). Larry Fitzgerald belongs among them, but it was his 29.4 blocking grade that lowered his grade, which came from a small sample size considering how little the Cardinals ran the ball. However, to win in the NFL you typically need to be stout up the middle—-and look at these grades from mostly veterans:
C A.Q. Shipley—-52.3
NT Corey Peters—-60.2
LB Jordan Hicks—-44.9
LB Haason Reddick—-42.5
FS D.J. Swearinger—-55.5
Plus look at what cost the defense so many times when Chandler Jones (48.2) and Terrell Suggs (59.2) lost contain. Hopefully this game was an anomaly for them.