Arizona Cardinals

Arizona vs. Tampa Bay: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Arizona

Andrew NordmeierContributor IIISeptember 30, 2013

Arizona vs. Tampa Bay: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Arizona

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    Patrick Peterson (center) celebrates an interception.
    Patrick Peterson (center) celebrates an interception.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    The Arizona Cardinals scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to wipe out a 10-0 deficit and defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Arizona improves to 2-2 on the season, while Tampa Bay sinks to 0-4 heading into its bye week. 

    Cornerback Patrick Peterson made a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to spark the team. Kicker Jay Feely converted a pair of field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter, and Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to provide the scoring. 

    Despite the result, not everything checks in as a positive performance in the win. Start the slideshow below and see where the Cardinals fell short. 

Quarterback

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    Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

    Carson Palmer was the only Arizona quarterback in the win over the Buccaneers. 

    Palmer's final stat line is rather mediocre. He completed 21 of 38 passes for 248 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. 

    At the end of the day, he got the job done, barely. The puzzling part is that Fitzgerald didn't get targeted at all in the first half. The coverage of Tampa cornerback Darrelle Revis played a role in that, but it's still unusual Palmer didn't even look at Fitzgerald for a half. 

    Eight different Cardinals caught at least one pass in the game, so Palmer is still distributing the ball well. 

    Grade: C

Running Backs

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    Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

    Running Backs: Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington.

    The duo of Mendenhall and Ellington were unproductive against a tough Tampa Bay rushing defense. The two backs combined for 50 yards and no touchdowns on 16 carries. Half of those yards came on one run by Ellington, so the numbers are a little deceiving. 

    The running game has to be more than a novelty for Arizona if it wants to break through the break-even mark. 

    Grade: D+

Wide Receivers

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Wide receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Jaron Brown. 

    Fitzgerald will get the headlines for his fourth-quarter touchdown. He finished with 68 yards on six catches. Floyd led the team with 87 yards on five catches and a team-high 10 targets. 

    Roberts was a non-factor with a six-yard catch. Brown made a 19-yard catch and drew a penalty for a hit on a defenseless receiver to help the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. 

    Fitzgerald was held off the score sheet in the first half and wasn't targeted once. The wide receivers were just average. It was about the numbers you would expect from a team with Palmer at quarterback

    Grade: C+

Tight Ends

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Tight Ends: Jim Dray and Rob Housler.

    The tight end position was being looked at as one to get involved in the passing game under head coach Bruce Arians. Instead, it's been utilized as an extra blocker just like in past seasons. 

    Dray and Housler (pictured) each caught one pass in the game and combined for 33 yards of offense. 

    At least they're blocking effectively, which helps raise their score. 

    Grade: D+

     

Offensive Line

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    Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

    Offensive Line: Levi Brown, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Paul Fanaika, Eric Winston.

    The Arizona offensive line was beaten for a sack on the first play from scrimmage for the Cardinals. After that, it settled down and kept Palmer upright. 

    While it was effective against the pass rush, the line still couldn't make any holes for the running backs to push through. The offensive line only allowed four tackles for loss and three hits on Palmer. It was a much better effort over last week at New Orleans.

    Grade: C+

Defensive Line

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Defensive Line: Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Alameda Ta'amu.

    The defensive line made things miserable for Tampa running back Doug Martin. He carried the ball 27 times and finished with only 45 rushing yards. The line kept him from going much of anywhere on the day. 

    It gets overlooked since the linebackers and defensive backs were also close to the line of scrimmage and making the tackles. The defensive line should get plenty of credit for making Martin's running lanes go right into Arizona defenders in red shirts. The line recorded a pair of tackles for loss on the day.

    Grade: B

     

Linebackers

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    Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

    Linebackers: Karlos Dansby (pictured), John Abraham, Matt Shaughnessy, Dontay Moch, Jasper Brinkley and Kenny Demens.

    The linebackers stuffed Martin all day long, which helped Arizona get the win. Dansby led the way with a game-high nine solo tackles. Moch came up with a key sack in the fourth quarter for Arizona. Brinkley finished with eight total tackles, including a pair for loss. 

    They also made their way to Tampa quarterback Mike Glennon and recorded four hits on the rookie signal-caller. Shaughnessy also recovered a Martin fumble in the second half. 

    Overall, the unit came together nicely and put forth a good game against Tampa Bay. Next week, it gets Daryl Washington back from a league suspension just in time to take on the Carolina Panthers

    It looks like the linebackers have a lot of positive momentum to build on. 

    Grade: B+

Defensive Backs

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Defensive Backs: Patrick Peterson, Yeremiah Bell (pictured), Tony Jefferson, Tyrann Mathieu, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel.

    Peterson's two interceptions will make the highlight reels. They were a big part of the fourth-quarter action that led to the Arizona win. Peterson was also tasked with covering Tampa wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Jackson was limited to two catches for 27 yards despite being targeted 11 times on the day. 

    Bell had a solid game with eight tackles and a sack. Jefferson (seven) and Matthieu (six) each turned in solid tackle counts. They stepped up big in the run game and were solid in coverage too. 

    The Bucs didn't have a play of longer than 20 yards in the passing game against Arizona. The secondary did its part to limit yards after catch and make it a rough day for Glennon of the Bucs. 

    Grade: A-

     

     

Special Teams

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Special Teams: Jay Feely (left) and punter Dave Zastudil. 

    Feely was able to come through in the clutch and deliver on a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to help Arizona win. Feely hit from 42 yards away early in the fourth quarter to get Arizona on the board. His second field goal with 89 seconds left sealed the win for the Cardinals. 

    Zastudil boomed seven punts and averaged 45.9 yards per punt. Three of them dropped inside the 20-yard line. Zastudil had a solid game pinning the Buccaneers back on their half of the field. 

    Grade: B+

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