ARI-CHI Grades: Fitzgerald rises, Palmer continues hot start
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cardinals-Bears game:
— 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.
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)
— 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.
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)