NYJ-ARI grades: Ground game leads way in Cardinals win

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from Arizona’s victory over the New York Jets.

| 8 months ago
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NYJ-ARI grades: Ground game leads way in Cardinals win

Arizona Cardinals 28, New York Jets 3

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from Arizona’s 28-3 victory over the New York Jets.

Arizona Cardinals

 Quarterback grade: Carson Palmer, 74.6

 Palmer picks it up in second half

Carson Palmer shook off a sub-par first half, and had an efficient second half to complement the Cardinals’ ground game on long second-half drives that broke the game open. Although he was 0-for-1 on the deep balls that we were accustomed to last season, he was nine of 10 on balls thrown between 10 and 19 yards including a touchdown in the back of the end zone to Michael Floyd.


Top offensive grades: 

OT Jared Veldheer 81.6
C A.Q. Shipley 76.7
RB David Johnson 76.3
G Earl Watford 76.2
OT D.J. Humphries 76.2

Ground game leads way for Cardinals offense

In the first half during which Palmer was not getting it done through the air, and the Cardinals made a concerted effort to feed their star running back David Johnson. His longest run of the day came off LT Jared Veldheer and Johnson cut his way to a 58-yard touchdown. The Cardinals got a good effort out of four of five of their offensive lineman and Johnson did the rest to be the focal point of the offense and keeping Palmer from making risky plays.

Top defensive grades:

ED Chandler Jones, 86.4
S D.J. Swearinger, 82.7
CB Marcus Cooper, 79.9
ED Alex Okafor, 79.8
ED Markus Golden, 79.2 

Chandler Jones wreaks havoc on Monday night

Chandler Jones was virtually unblockable on Monday night against the Jets, finishing the game with an 87.6 pass-rushing grade thanks to eight total pressures (one hit to go with seven hurries) on 40 pass-rush attempts. Jones completely owned Jets LT Ryan Clady all night long, beating him for six of his eight pressures (he actually beat Clady for a seventh pressure but the play was nullified due to a penalty). Moving back to the secondary, virtually everybody had at least a decent game. D.J. Swearinger was targeted just twice and didn’t allow a single catch to go along with the interception that ended QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s night; Marcus Cooper was also targeted twice, allowing no catches to go with a pass defense.

New York Jets

Quarterback grade: Ryan Fitzpatrick, 37.1; Geno Smith, 55.3

Fitzpatrick’s struggles continue

Ryan Fitzpatrick was absolutely brutal in this one, completing just 16 of 28 aimed passes to go with 174 yards, an interception and a 60.7 QB rating; his 64.3 adjusted completion percentage ranked just 27th among QBs in Week 6. He was especially brutal when he was under pressure, going just four of 13 for 40 yards, his pick and a microscopic 8.5 QB rating while under duress. Fitzpatrick now has an overall grade of 39.0 for the season, the worst among all QBs, and it’s especially astonishing when you consider that he finished one of his six games this year (Week 2 against Buffalo) with a 93.2 overall grade.


Top offensive grades:

G James Carpenter, 83.5
WR Brandon Marshall, 69.7
RB Bilal Powell, 69.2
WR Charone Peake, 68.5|
WR Quincy Enunwa, 63.3

Offensive line falls flat in Arizona

LG James Carpenter had a nice game, finishing the game with an 80.5 run-blocking grade while not allowing a single pressure in pass protection. For how good he played though, the rest of the Jets offensive line couldn’t come close to resembling his performance; the non-Carpenter members of the Jets offensive line combined to allow 15 total pressures on the evening. Charone Peake ended up leading the Jets with nine targets, he caught five of them for 43 yards and was the intended target on Geno Smith’s interception.

Top defensive grades:

CB Marcus Williams 82.6
DI Leonard Williams 78.7
ED Sheldon Richardson 78.5
LB Darron Lee 78.2
S Marcus Gilchrist 77.9

Jets nickel corners torched in otherwise solid effort from the defense

By just looking at David Johnson gaudy numbers (22 carries for 111 yards, three TDs) you would assume that the Jets defensive line uncharacteristically underperformed in run defense. The real culprit was the nickel corner spot in the Jets secondary. Buster Skrine was thrown at 10 times and gave up seven receptions for 69 yards and earned a 27.0 overall grade (worst in the game). His replacement, Darryl Roberts, was not any better (34.7). He gave up two back-breaking receptions in the fourth quarter, one of which ended up in Michael Floyd’s hands in the back of the end zone to end any chance the Jets had of coming back.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

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