ARI-CHI Grades: Fitzgerald rises, Palmer continues hot start

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cardinals-Bears game.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

ARI-CHI Grades: Fitzgerald rises, Palmer continues hot start

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cardinals-Bears game:

Arizona Cardinals

— QB Carson Palmer continues to show why the Cardinals struggled in his absence late last year. Palmer was solid throughout the game and earned a +2.1 overall grade when under pressure. Palmer completed all six of his passes targeted between 10 and 19 yards downfield for 84 yards and a touchdown.

— WR Larry Fitzgerald’s overall grade was brought down due to issues in run blocking and a penalty, but his +3.4 pass grade was his highest since 2011. Fitzgerald caught passes against five different Bears’ defenders and five of his receptions were targeted 10-plus yards downfield.

— We haven’t been as high on Patrick Peterson as his reputation suggests, but he did put forth a solid game against Chicago. Peterson had an excellent interception off of Jimmy Clausen, and overall allowed just one catch for 8 yards on three targets for a +2.2 overall grade.

Top performers:

QB Carson Palmer (+3.7)
DE Frostee Rucker (+2.5)
CB Patrick Peterson (+2.2)
OLB Josh Mauro (+2.1)
DE Calais Campbell (+1.9)

Chicago Bears

— After a relatively quiet Week 1, Bears’ free agent addition OLB Pernell McPhee put on a performance exemplifying why Chicago signed the pass rusher to a five-year, $38 million deal in March. Not only did he turn it around from last week, but his eight total pressures (two hits, six hurries) are a single-game high for McPhee, as was his +7.2 overall grade.

— Week 1 was the worst performance we had ever seen out of RT Kyle Long in his career as he struggled to adjust to the new position. He bounced back yesterday though, earning a +2.5 overall grade despite of having one hand in a cast. There were a couple times Long was beaten badly, although it’s tough to say how much of that was a result of the injury.

— It seems like ages ago that CB Kyle Fuller burst onto the scene with a couple good performances early as a rookie. He struggled down the stretch last year though and that has continued this year with back-to-back games with -2.0 or worse overall grades to start the season. In addition to getting beat for a score on a slant by Larry Fitzgerald, Fuller had a costly pass interference penalty early in the game.

Top performers:

OLB Pernell McPhee (+7.2)
OLB Jared Allen (+2.9)
RT Kyle Long (+2.5)
DE Jarvis Jenkins (+2.1)
FS Antrel Rolle (+1.4)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • jim

    fuller is a bust. try him at safety.

    • Tim Edell

      Its his second year junior! Everyone wants to declare players as busts or stars after a year or so. Give him time to develop and with a better pass rush he will improve.

      • jim

        junior? go bother someone who gives a damn what you say pal. i played football. you didn’t.

        • Tim Edell

          That you Jim??!?? I do remember your football career… You pulled 8 flags that one game!!! We will never forget JUNIOR!!

          • jim

            ugly picture there little timmie, really ugly

          • Tim Edell

            Jimmie time for school ok junior???

          • jim

            ugly, ugly picture. bye little timmie

          • Tim Edell

            Lil bitch

  • Jason Williams

    this just in – the Bears STINK.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The only good news for us Chicago fans yesterday was not having Dennis Green around to say “The Bears are who we thought they were”.

  • Hybear

    The Bears need to start all over similar to what the Cubs did, Trade Forte, Bennett, Allen, stock up draft picks, and trust the new GM. Play the young players and utilize Cutler’s absence to see what Fales has to offer.

    • Cant FixStupid

      Nobody’s trading for Forte or Allen. Forte is about to turn 30, and he will be a FA next year. If somebody did, you don’t get better than a 5th or 6th round for him. And nobody would want Allen and his contract at this point in his career. Trading in baseball and football are a hell of a lot different.