Arizona vs. Jacksonville: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Arizona
Carson Palmer threw for a season-high 419 yards, and the Arizona Cardinals scored 20 unanswered points to post a 27-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Arizona picked up a third straight win to move to 6-4 on the season, while the Jaguars fell to 1-9. Michael Floyd had a breakout game with 193 receiving yards and a touchdown for Arizona.
Despite the win, there was still a unit of the Arizona Cardinals that was horrible in this game. Which one? Start the slideshow below and see who it was.
Palmer had his best game in an Arizona uniform with 419 passing yards and two touchdowns. Palmer didn’t throw an interception against Jacksonville, and it is the first time all season Palmer hasn’t made that mistake.
He was able to distribute the ball around nicely and not try to rely on Larry Fitzgerald to get the job done as the main target in the passing game. Palmer took a mediocre Jacksonville pass defense and shredded it apart for his first game with more than 400 passing yards since last season. Palmer also tied a season-high with 30 completions in the win.
Jacksonville was the worst team in the league in terms of how many rushing yards per game it allowed at more than 150. You wouldn’t know that with the way Arizona ran the ball.
Rashard Mendenhall had 14 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Andre Ellington rolled up three yards on eight carries. Including Palmer’s kneel-downs, Arizona averaged 0.6 yards per carry in this game, which is a dreadful figure.
Neither running back added more than 15 yards receiving, so this was an all-around egg laid by this positional unit.
Arizona’s Floyd led the entire NFL this week in receiving yards with 193. Floyd picked up 91 of them on a catch-and-run play where he broke through three tackles and took it for a touchdown.
Fitzgerald scored a touchdown on six catches for 61 yards, while Andre Roberts was more of an afterthought with 14 yards on three catches.
Floyd’s monster day carries the unit’s grade.
Rob Housler had his second straight solid game with 70 yards on six catches. Housler is finally starting to show the form that people had expected of him in the passing game since the start of the season. Jake Ballard (one catch for 29 yards) and Jim Dray (18 yards on two catches) are of little use in the passing game and are best served as additional blockers.
All told, it’s an improvement, and hopefully the unit can sustain it next week against Indianapolis.
Palmer had time to throw—and that’s always a plus—but the running game could barely get anything going. It’s one of those games where half was good and half wasn’t. The line still allowed three sacks of Palmer, which is about average for this unit.
The Jacksonville ground game also got nothing going in this game. Maurice Jones-Drew was limited to 23 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. They were able to pressure Chad Henne as well, and it led to a Calais Campbell sack and four quarterback hits.
It wasn’t a dominant performance, but the defensive line did its job. More pressure was expected, and Henne should have been sacked more to increase the grade here.
John Abraham picked up a sack for the fourth game in a row. The linebackers were effective in shutting down the run, but pass coverage, especially against tight ends, leaves something to be desired.
Jacksonville tight end Danny Noble broke down the field on a 4th-and-1 play and rumbled 62 yards for a touchdown and the game’s first score. These kind of plays have to be contained going forward as this has been the team’s Achilles’ heel on defense this season.
Jerraud Powers and Yeremiah Bell each intercepted Henne, and the defense allowed 255 passing yards to the Jaguars. The defensive backs were good and solid in this game. They didn’t allow big plays to wide receivers, and Patrick Peterson kept Cecil Shorts in check for the game and limited him to 22 yards on two catches.
Jacksonville had to throw a bunch since the rushing game failed them. The Arizona defensive backs were up to the task and made sure that Henne and the passing game was contained.
Jay Feely hit all three extra points and both field goals in the win. He hasn’t missed since Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams and is quietly becoming one of the best kickers in the league this season. This was his third straight game with two field goals.
Punter Dave Zastudil didn’t have his typical day. He made eight punts with an average of 44.8 yards but only dropped one of them inside the 20-yard line. It seemed that his opposite punter, Bryan Anger, had the kind of day Cardinals fans expect of Zastudil.
Anger had eight punts and dropped six of them inside the 20-yard line, according to the box score.