Cardinals: Injuries prove costly
Prior to Carson Palmer going down with a torn ACL three weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals seemed to be playoff bound. The defense had played well all season and Palmer was performing at a high level and with great efficiency. His 92.13 PFF QB Rating ranked 11th in the league, his 75.1 Accuracy Percentage ranked 12th, and dropped to just 66.7% when Passing Under Pressure, the fifth-best mark in the league.
Up stepped Drew Stanton, a player in whom Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has a lot of faith, and who led the team to two wins from three while filling in for Palmer earlier in the year. However things haven’t worked out as well this time around, with two defeats in three games and just 28 points scored by the offense. Stanton has simply been unable to match Palmer’s efficient play, with his 78.29 PFF QB Rating, 66.7 Accuracy Percentage, and 58.1% accuracy when Passing Under Pressure all falling far short of Palmer’s marks.
Injury has also struck the teams ground attack, with Andre Ellington hurting his foot in training camp and never seeming to regain full fitness. As a result Ellington’s impressive +7.6 rushing grade from 2013 has dropped to -8.6. While the Cardinals still control their playoff destiny, they must overcome defensive stalwarts such as Seattle, and San Francisco with an injury-reduced offense.