News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 PFF ReFocused: Arizona Cardinals 30, Washington Football Team 15

Defending Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals offense looks to have an extra dimension in 2020. For the second week in a row, Murray broke off multiple significant runs to complement what he can do passing the football, leading his team to its second successive win to open the season.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

The matchup between Murray and the Washington defensive line was the one to watch on paper heading into the game, and while Murray was running for his life at times, he limited the damage on those plays (just one interception). The simple fact is that there weren't enough of them.

Washington put Murray under pressure on 15 of his 46 dropbacks, but when they weren't able to pressure him, he was completing passes too easily. The former No. 1 overall pick passed for more than 200 yards from a clean pocket and had another 67 rushing yards on the ground, with two rushing touchdowns.

DeAndre Hopkins didn't have the kind of monster game he did on his debut, but his presence was still felt, and he was left uncovered in the end zone for an early score. The Cardinals offense was too good for a Washington defense that is still too heavily tilted towards pressure over coverage. Washington's offense wasn't good enough to match them in scoring.

While he had some good passes (including one of his best dropped down the left sideline), Dwayne Haskins just couldn't elevate the team around him to go toe-to-toe with the Cardinals, and he completed only one of seven pass attempts when he was put under pressure. 

Rookie Watch

One of the biggest stories of Week 1 was how badly Arizona's top rookie, Isaiah Simmons, was exposed by Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense. Simmons didn't play that much in the first game (just 18 snaps, to be exact), but his playing time was scaled even further back this week, as he saw only seven snaps of action against Washington.

Fourth-round defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence played 25 snaps. He had a hurry and one more pass-rush win on 15 rushing snaps.

For Washington, Antonio Gibson remains the team's primary back. He led the team in snaps at the position, with 43, 14 more than J.D. McKissic in second place. Gibson only had 55 rushing yards, but 48 of them came after contact, and he had to break five tackles to get that far. Wideout Antonio Gandy-Golden only made it onto the field for five snaps, catching his lone target for 3 yards.

Chase Young continued his strong start in the NFL, playing 53 snaps and racking up a little more pressure, albeit not the production of his debut game a week ago. Seventh-round safety Kamren Curl played 31 snaps on defense, primarily covering the slot, though he also saw snaps in the box and in linebacker alignments in sub-packages. Fellow seventh-rounder James Smith-Williams saw six snaps as an edge defender, but only two of them on passing plays with any opportunity to rush the passer.

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