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Chandler Jones, Kyler Murray shine in Week 1 PFF grades

Johnny Venerable Avatar
September 13, 2021

Just as they do every week, the fine folks at Pro Football Focus have put together their grades for Sunday’s slate of NFL games.

As you can imagine, the Arizona Cardinals scored high marks against a Tennessee Titan squad that was previously a 3-point favorite at home.

Chandler Jones, predictably, led the team with an astounding grade of 93.8 while tallying 48 snaps defensively. Jones, who currently leads the league in sacks (5), also contributed high marks as a run defender (70.6).

The Cardinal secondary, which was under fire leading into Sunday’s match-up, shined when given the opportunity. According to PFF, those defensive standouts included safety Budda Baker (85.4), CB Bryon Murphy (76.3) and CB Robert Alford (76.1).

Rookie LB Zaven Collins, while only logging 22 snaps, graded out well (72.5) in his first NFL start. The 16th overall pick last April logged an elite run grade of 90.2.

J.J. Watt had a quality showing in his debut as an Arizona Cardinal, earning high marks in both run defense (76.) and tackling (70.5). It was due to these efforts and more that the Cardinal defense was able to stifle a Tennessee run game that was limited to a mere 3.9 yards per carry.

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, fresh off a five touchdown performance, also shined (84.5) for a Cardinal offense that enters Week 2 amongst the most productive units in football.

Murray was aided by a Cardinal receiving core that had three separate pass catchers all earning grades of 80 or higher.

Speaking of wideouts, fourth year receiver Christian Kirk put together one of his better days as a pro, earning an offensive team high grade of 85.9 for his efforts against a vulnerable Titan secondary.

Kirk is currently playing on the last year of his rookie contract.

The Cardinal offensive line performed admirably, with left tackle D.J. Humphries leading the way for the redbirds. The seventh year man out of Florida finished with a sparkling grade of 78.7, which included high marks as a run defender (85.2).

Following a rib injury to right tackle Kelvin Beachum, Justin Murray found himself thrust into action. Thankfully, the former undrafted free agent would answer the bell, netting a commendable grade of 66.4 (81.6 in pass pro).

As a unit, the Cardinal offensive line allowed two sacks against Tennessee, but only three total QB hits.

Amongst those who struggled Sunday were newcomers Rodney Hudson (52.7) and A.J. Green (55.9), both of whom are still trying to acclimate themselves to this offense.

While rookie CB Marco Wilson had his shortcomings as a tackler (26.6), he more than made up for it in coverage (61.3) which is notable given the opponent’s talent at receiver.

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