ARI-SEA Grades: Palmer survives mistakes, carves up Seahawks

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cardinals’ 39-32 victory over the Seahawks.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

ARI-SEA Grades: Palmer survives mistakes, carves up Seahawks

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cardinals’ 39-32 victory over the Seahawks:

Seattle Seahawks

– Whether injury was a factor or it was down to the Seahawks perpetually getting behind the chains, there were factors that limited Marshawn Lynch’s (+2.5) impact on this game. When he got the ball Lynch continued to out-perform what his offensive line presented him with, gaining 42 yards on eight carries despite the fact his offensive line saw him beyond the line of scrimmage before first contact on only two of his eight carries. This may be one of Lynch’s most unproductive seasons in Seattle, but it is no less remarkable for the blocking he is working with.

– Only once since his rookie season has Richard Sherman (-0.9) had a busier night than last night when he was targeted eight times by Carson Palmer surrendering five catches for 67 yards, a touchdown to Michael Floyd (+1.9) and a pair of penalties in coverage. Every member of the Legion of Boom earned a coverage grade of -1.0 or worse in this game for the first time since they were “formed” in 2011.

– The Cardinals got heavy pressure on Russell Wilson (-2.0) and it started to tell even on plays when Wilson wasn’t under pressure. Under pressure, Wilson completed only five of his 14 pass attempts including his interception which was a missed opportunity for a big play of his own to Doug Baldwin (+2.5) off a double move. That pressure started to manifest itself on plays where the Cardinals didn’t get home with pressure, seen on Wilson’s safety in the second quarter and with Wilson scrambling three times on plays where he wasn’t pressured.

Top performers:

DE Cliff Avril (+6.0)
DE Michael Bennett (+5.7)
ILB Bobby Wagner (+3.1)
WR Doug Baldwin (+2.5)
HB Marshawn Lynch (+2.5)

Arizona Cardinals

– For a time at the start of the second quarter Carson Palmer’s (+3.2) performance looked under threat of unraveling in the face of poor blitz pickups and poor ball security. However, Palmer responded with a fourth quarter drive that capped off what was a standout performance around that period in the fourth quarter when the Seahawks seemed ready to turn the momentum. Palmer completed 14 of 18 passes aimed ten or more yards downfield, earning a +9.3 PFF passing grade on those 18 plays.

– Palmer’s terrific night was matched by the work of his receiving corps with Larry Fitzgerald (+2.7) and Michael Floyd (+1.9) producing performances to remember against the Seattle secondary. Fitzgerald collected ten catches for 130 yards against four different Seattle defenders to earn his eighth positive grade in nine games. Fitzgerald’s consistency paired well with Floyd’s big play threat down the field collecting a touchdown over each of Seattle’s starting corners and his yardage total would have been even higher but for misjudging and dropping a perfect post pass by Palmer in the third quarter.

– Another week and another positive grade in run defense for Calais Campbell (+2.1) though their top defensive lineman continues to be just short of his best as a pass rusher. Earning four pressures (1 Ht, 3 Hu) Campbell was productive but not the same destructive pass rusher that we last saw on a consistent basis in 2013. Run defense is the name of Campbell’s game and after Week 10 he sits as our highest graded 3-4 defensive end against the run.

Top performers:

QB Carson Palmer (+3.2)
WR Larry Fitzgerald (+2.7)
DE Calais Campbell (+2.1)
WR Michael Floyd (+1.9)
S Tony Jefferson (+1.0)

  • Jonathan Bennett

    Seattle had some bad luck with the penalty ratio and two potential turnovers (the increasingly confusing catch/not a catch debate rearing its ugly head once more and Palmer getting bailed out Mariota-style on a potential game-icing pick), but it seems like they can’t fix problems that the teams of 2012 and 2014 would have already figured out by now. Cary Williams doesn’t know how to play the ball in the air (got lost and then beat at the catch-point on a 3rd down throw that stayed in the air for a while), Kam/Earl are still giving up TE seam routes for TDs, and Bevell can’t implement a game-plan to keep Wilson’s jersey clean (Dallas game was the exception.)

  • AKjester

    The officiating for this game was horrible. Arizona won two challenges that were pretty obvious. They were probably right on the third, but there was no way the replay could see it. The officials missed a delay of game penalty – which seems pretty obvious. The Hawks got nailed for a couple of phantom holding calls that killed their drives. I also saw blocks in the back right in front of the returner on two kick returns, one by each team, that wasn’t called. A lot of the penalties were for legit miscues, but I would have liked to have seen this game without so many errors from the officials. The Cardinals played a great game and I don’t have any reason to think the outcome would be too different, but it would have definitely been a less irritating game to watch.

    • Drzaius

      Don’t forget the ‘holding’ call on Patrick Peterson where he only made contact within 5 yards. Right after that the Seahawks scored, so it was another big help for Seattle.
      Also there was the early safty due to intentional grounding that wasn’t called.

      Overall the refs really helped Seattle to stay in the game, especially the necessary replays were infuriating.

      • AKjester

        I didn’t see the Peterson holding play. Considering the other holding penalties, I bet your gripe is totally accurate.
        I think the refs hurt both teams at different parts of the game. I don’t want to notice the refs during a game, it ruins the fun of watching the play. I also don’t want either side to have legitimate gripes about how the refs ruined their chances at a win. Something appeared totally off with this officiating crew.
        I hope the officials don’t ruin the watching experience for Seahawk or Cardinal fans. If the Hawks won, the Cardinal fans would have had reason to think the officials were against them too. Overall, it was just such bad officiating that everyone felt like they were hosed.

      • JudoPrince

        I’m not a fan of either team but Seahawks definitely got the brunt end of the penalties. Their first 3 drives of the game began with a holding penalty. A fourth came later in the game that wiped out a big Lynch gain. Yet how many offensive holding calls did AZ get called on them, especially in the 2nd half when tremendous pressure was being applied on Palmer. I saw at least two or three rushes up the middle by Bennett/Avril that could have easily drawn holding penalties. Also while Peterson may have gotten a defensive holding call, the Seahawks 2ndary had several more calls on them. I remember at least one of those looking questionable.

  • Drzaius

    As a Cards fan I don’t particuarly like Patrick Peterson, but I genuinely thought he had a good game today. The only negative mention of him was on a penalty that clearly wasn’t one, so I’m curious how he was graded.