A quarter in, PFF gives props to top Cards

Posted by Darren Urban on October 6, 2015 – 12:56 pm

Four games into the season simply means there are 12 games left and an eternity for an NFL season — and a single team’s season — to roller-coaster to various places. But four games usually gives you an idea of how a player’s season is headed, and the fast start by the Cards (their loss to the Rams notwithstanding) gathered the attention of the folks at

PFF decided to make a quarter-season all-pro team, and the Cardinals have four representatives, one of which — in a slight upset, given the competition — is quarterback Carson Palmer.

The other four are Larry Fitzgerald as the slot receiver, Tyrann Mathieu as the slot cornerback, and Justin Bethel as the special teamer.

Palmer beats out Tom Brady (who has only played three games because of the bye), and Aaron Rodgers, and the PFF guys note that Ben Roethlisberger’s injury probably cost him the spot. But Palmer has been great, save for a couple of errant throws Sunday. His passer rating is 106.4, he has completed better than 63 percent of his passes, he’s thrown 10 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions and he’s on pace to throw for more than 4,600 yards.

Mathieu has a couple of picks, and he’s been all over the field. Plus he tweets stuff like this, which lets you know he wants a little more:

Fitzgerald has 30 catches for 432 yards and five touchdowns already. He’s on pace to make 120 receptions, which would crush his career-high (I don’t expect this pace to continue on receptions as defenses wake up to Fitz’s play, but he’s going to have a big year barring injury.)

Bethel hasn’t played as much as he had hoped defensively, but he remains the “gold standard” for special teams play, PFF writes.


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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “A quarter in, PFF gives props to top Cards”

  1. By Rock on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Wow – but missing Calais! Maybe PP too.

  2. By Dr H on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Finally Carson’s getting the recognition he deserves!

  3. By David on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Mr. Urban…

    Im currently Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but will be getting out in 2017, and will be looking for a career in Sports Broadcasting, and will be going to college, using my G.I. Bill… i know 2017 is in a few years, but this may be a slim chance, if you’re still working with the team then,would you give me a chance to Job Shadow you, and see what it is that makes you successful?

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    David —

    RE: Shadow

    We’ll see. Reach out in 2017. I still plan on being here.

  5. By Scott H on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Darren – I found some of your wording interesting. You say “as defenses wake up to Fitz’ play” and I found myself asking – this guy is a future HOF’er who is still playing at a VERY high level. When did defenses go to sleep on Fitz??? Sure, his performance took an inevitable hit last year due to our QB situation. But with a legit QB in the house, Fitz is still the best WR on this team ( still among the best in the game, IMHO ) and I don’t think teams have forgotten about him. AND I think that if defenses DO start directing more resources toward Fitz, Palmer will kill them by finding the other WR’s who are less attended to. So….teams can try that but they do so at their own peril.

    Throughout his career, Fitz has been good enough to excel against whatever defenses have done to try to stop him. And I think he is still playing at that level. With Palmer healthy, I really do expect Fitz to continue producing as he has. He will not have 100-plus and two TD’s every week, but he will definitely have more ON weeks than OFF weeks.

    Rock –

    I’m with you, I think Calais belongs on this list.

  6. By cryanr on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply


    They also have Carson Palmer ranked as their #1 overall quarterback through four weeks. Not that this applies to your post but certainly another cool and interesting tidbit to pass on.

  7. By MostlyRight on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Is it true that PP21 has officially allowed one catch this season? If so, he should deifinitely be on this list.

  8. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2015 | Reply

    Mostly —

    RE: Peterson

    I don’t know that for sure. I do know he was supposed to cover the Bears guy who got wide open for the 50-yard TD. Now, do you put that on him, that miscommunication? Because he’s not getting that wide open if Peterson actually covers him. So it’s subjective to a point. But I do think PP is off to a great start.

  9. By Eazy E on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H-

    Right On about Fitz!! He never lost anything, he just needed a competent QB, that’s all!

  10. By Marlin on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    I’m a lot older than most people on this blog. When I was young we used to say, “Opinions are like asxxxxxxx!’s…everybody’s got one”. Nowadays, opinions seem to be the only thing anyone cares about. Who cares what people think. Just win. Results (wins) are what count.

  11. By clssylssy on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    Great job to all! Of course, I’m with Scott about Fitz and believe he could still have that blockbuster season that you don’t think is possible (which isn’t, of course, if you aren’t targeted).
    Hope to see all these guys continue to play at the top of their game and will look for them along with PP and Calais on the next quarter, maybe a few others too. When our players do great individually we have a stronger, more effective team so lets continue playing lights out football. The sheep are dust in the mirror….

  12. By clssylssy on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    I see where both Patrick and Calais were on the Quarter All-Pro team along with Fitz and the Honey Badger! Great to see Cardinals being recognized en mass!

  13. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    Always liked you, bro! 🙂 Larry Fitzgerald STILL rules.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    There is so much football to be played that it is tough to look at anything at the first quarter mark. It is like looking at a football games and judging it after the first quarter. Still 3 quarters to go.

    But so far, my impressions are this;

    QB – Palmer is as good as any quarterback in football. He has shown better movement than I thought he had. He has thrown some passes that only a few QBs could make. grade – A

    WR- a healthy Fitz with a real QB, we are seeing flashes of 2008 again. Fitz is drawing double coverages and has been outstanding. John Brown is as good as anyone and Floyd is making some incredible catches (even though some have not counted). This group is outstanding. Grade A

    TEs – I like Fells and he has made some nice catches , but he struggles blocking and needs to step up that part of his game. Gresham has done a nice job blocking. Where is Niklas? Grade B-

    OL – This line will get better once it gels with Iupati. They have kept Palmer fairly clean and gave some running lanes. Not a top line but better than past years. grade B-

    RB – the addition of CJ2K was awesome. This guy runs hard between the tackles and has a burst. With Ellington looking like a star then getting hurt (which has become the norm) CJ has been such a welcomed addition. David Johnson was on cloud nine till the rams game. He looked like a rookie and needs to play better (fumble and dropped TD), but overall is a budding star. grade A-

    Defensive line – as many have noted, Campbell is playing at a high level. But so is Frostee Rucker. Gunter has been a nice draft pick who will only get better and the rotation is pretty good. A-

    LBs – this is a tough group to look at. The OLBs have been average. Golden has surprised me with his hustle and toughness. Okafor has flashed at times. But overall, we are not getting to the QB and this is again a question mark. As for ILBs , Minter has played well, and so has Bucannon. But where is Weatherspoon? This defense of getting as many DBs on the field has sent him to the bench. grade C+

    DBs – 7 picks, 3 pick sixes, the “No Fly Zone” is flying high. PP is back and looks very good. It must be tough to go 2 games and have 1 pass go to your guy. Don’t fall asleep PP. Honey Badger is everywhere. This is truly a strength. Grade A

  15. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG….I have only seen one game so far and that was on tv. You have seen our Cardinals live three times so you are in a much better position than I to come to these conclusions. Palmer, no doubt, is a good quarterback and we desperately need him to continue to play at a high level. But I think Rodgers and Brady have played better. That’s not being critical of Palmer. It’s just what I think based on what little I have seen and read so far this year. From the few highlights I saw of Sunday’s game he made a couple of not so good throws on our last drive that may have cost us the game. Foles, on the other hand, supposedly made some very good throws. And, as good as John Brown can be, I think Palmer sometimes forces the ball to him, maybe due to the friendship between them. I am hoping for more from Michael Floyd. And, I would like you to give a grade to our offensive play calling. I know Palmer has the final say and can option out of any play sent in. But I agree with some of the others who have questioned our tendency to throw the ball in situations that call for a running play. Are we trying to be too cute when all we need is some hard-nosed football? Maybe I am just frustrated because we should be 4-0 and the Seahawks should be 1-3..

  16. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    No grade for the ST’s??? Or the coaches?

  17. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2015 | Reply


    Play calling;

    Overall, Arians is a genius with his play calling. The design of plays is amazing.
    An example was a TD to Jaron Brown a couple of games ago. Arians always brings the WR in to pick up the end blocking. Brown hits the end releases and Veldheer leads the way is a sort of screen. My explanation doesn’t do the play justice, but trust me, it worked because of the design.

    So, saying all that, it is hard to second guess the guy, but I do think when it was 2nd and two on that last drive, I would have run the ball 3 times. Again, though, if the screen on second down is completed, it is a big play. The pass to Brown on third should have been caught and on forth, I think David Johnson ran the wrong pattern. Seeing Palmers reaction after he threw it seemed like he thought Johnson was doing something else.

    Palmer vs Rodgers and Brady;

    I don’t know if Palmer is better than those two, but he has played pretty good. There were some throws he made to Fitz that had defenders underneath, in front, on top and he hits him in the smallest window. He usually doesn’t see open guys when he is pressured and has to move. But even there, he has made some plays I didn’t know he could make. Palmer is better than any year I have seen him before. I think he has made the line better.

  18. By jeffgollin on Oct 8, 2015 | Reply

    Nice to see deserving guys get props, but it’s all about the “W.” Hope to see twice as many of guys on the Top lists 12 more games from now.

  19. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 8, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG,,,,thanks. Still a bit frustrated over our last game. Hoping to feel better Sunday evening.

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