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:
– 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.
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)
– 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.
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)