NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 13 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 33, Chicago Bears 22

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs with the football in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals‘ star quarterback and wide receiver were back in the lineup, but it was their defense that proved to be the difference-maker in the Cardinals' 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 13. The Cardinals defense allowed just 4.5 yards per play and forced four turnovers that led to 23 points in the win.


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Kyler Murray fed off a pair of first-quarter turnovers, turning them into two touchdowns, but only mustered 257 yards of offense.

The Cardinals retain the top spot in the NFC and become the NFL's first 10-win team this season while the Bears fall to 4-8 on the year.

Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback

Murray finished with a season-high passer rating (136.9) but only managed 123 yards from 21 dropbacks. Murray displayed some rust in his return with multiple off-target throws throughout the game. His average depth of target for the game was 4.3 yards, and he only completed two passes beyond 10 yards — one went to DeAndre Hopkins for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Kyler Murray by target depth
Target depth Comp. % Yards YPA Passer rating
9 yards or less 81.8% 88 8.0 130.3
10-19 yards 33.3% 14 4.7 49.3
20+ yards 100% 21 21.0 158.3

Murray still proved to be elusive with his legs, rushing for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Running back

James Conner handled a team-high 20 carries, which resulted in 75 yards while only three attempts moved the chains. He averaged 2.3 yards after contact per carry while forcing three missed tackles. Conner was slightly more effective as a pass-catcher, hauling in a one-handed grab that went for a 23-yard touchdown.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Murray connected with Hopkins early for a 20-yard touchdown along the sideline, but the star receiver managed just one more reception the rest of the way.

Eight different receivers caught a pass in the game, but no one caught more than two or went for over 40 yards. A.J. Green, Zach Ertz and Christian Kirk all caught one pass but none went for over 15 yards.

Offensive line

Murray's offensive line performed well in his return, as the unit combined to allow just five pressures and zero losses in pass protection, upon initial review. Both D.J. Humphries and Rodney Hudson allowed zero pressures and received 80.0-plus pass-blocking grades.

Kelvin Beachum gave up three of the five pressures and was the only starting offensive lineman to grade below 67.0, upon initial review, in the game.

Player Pass-blocking grade Pass-blocking snaps Pressure rate
Sean Harlow 78.4 21 4.8%
Max Garcia 67.6 21 4.8%
D.J. Humphries 83.1 21 0%
Rodney Hudson 82.0 21 0%
Kelvin Beachum 51.1 20 15%

*upon first review

Defensive line

The Cardinals' pass-rush generated 10 pressures, as four separate pass-rushers created at least two in the game. Chandler Jones was the only defensive lineman to sack Dalton, but two of his three pressures were deemed unblocked or in cleanup.

Against the run, the unit combined for eight defensive stops and four tackles for loss or no gain.

Linebackers

Jordan Hicks had a team-high 10 tackles and led all linebackers with three defensive stops and one tackle for loss or no gain. Hicks managed to sack Dalton once on just four pass-rush snaps. 

Isaiah Simmons allowed two first downs on three receptions for 43 yards and received the lowest coverage grade on the team.

Secondary

The Cardinals secondary feasted on the Bears' passing attack, intercepting three passes and combining to allow less than 35 yards in coverage. Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson and Byron Murphy Jr. all picked off Dalton in the game and combined for five defensive stops in coverage.

Despite the success, Murphy was the only member of the secondary to receive a 75.0-plus coverage grade, upon first review.

Player Receptions allowed Yards allowed INT + FINC Passer rating allowed
Marco Wilson 2 19 0 63.5
Jalen Thompson 0 0 1 0.0
Robert Alford 3 42 0 108.3
Byron Murphy Jr. 4 28 2 37.5
Budda Baker 1 2 1 39.6

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Chicago Bears

Quarterback

The rainy conditions got to Andy Dalton early, as two of his first four pass attempts resulted in interceptions. Dalton finished with four interceptions but none were considered turnover-worthy. Dalton completed 63% of his passes while averaging 4.8 yards per attempt. Nonetheless, the fact that 68% of his yards came after the catch in addition to his 5.7-yard average depth of target show his receivers did a lot of the work for him.

Dalton earned a 66.4 passing grade, but his 44.0 passer rating will rank near the bottom in Week 13.

Andy Dalton from a clean pocket
Comp. % Yards TD:INT Passer rating
Andy Dalton 66.7% 154 1:3 50.6
Running back

David Montgomery was the workhorse for the Bears offense, accounting for 141 scrimmage yards on 29 touches. The third-year running back ran for 90 yards and a score on 21 carries, as 57% of his yards came after contact. Six of his 21 attempts resulted in a first down and just two went for over 10 yards.

Montgomery was also Dalton’s favorite target out of the backfield, recording a team-high eight receptions for 51 yards. He caught every catchable pass thrown his way and received an 87.0 receiving grade, upon first review.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Dalton struggled to connect with any of his receivers consistently until the game was out of reach. Nevertheless, Jakeem Grant hauled in five receptions for 62 yards and a garbage-time touchdown. Jimmy Graham ran just six routes but scored from one yard out for his second consecutive game with a touchdown.

Darnell Mooney went for over 100 receiving yards in each of the past two games but only managed 27 yards on five receptions against Arizona. He was the only Bears receiver to record a drop against the Cardinals.

Offensive line

Dalton was sacked three times, but none were deemed the offensive line's fault. The unit combined to allow 14 pressures, as every offensive lineman allowed at least two pressures. The 39-year-old Jason Peters allowed just two pressure on 50 pass-blocking snaps and should finish reviews with an 86.0-plus pass-blocking grade. 

Player Pass-blocking snaps Pressures allowed Pressure rate
Larry Borom 50 4 8%
James Daniels 50 2 4%
Sam Mustipher 50 4 8%
Cody Whitehair 50 3 6%
Jason Peters 50 2 4%

Defensive line

The Bears' pass rush was nearly nonexistent, as the defensive line combined for just six pressures. Bruce Irvin made his first appearance in a game this season and led the unit with two pressures on nine pass-rushing snaps. Robert Quinn sacked Murray despite not creating a pressure in the game. Nobody on the defensive line received a 70.0-plus pass-rush grade, upon first review.

Linebackers

Roquan Smith received an 81.7 run defense grade (upon first review) for logging three defensive stops and one tackle for loss or no gain. He and Alec Ogletree didn’t fare as well in coverage, as both linebackers combined to allow four receptions for 29 yards and two first downs.

Secondary

The Bears secondary wasn’t tested often but gave up big plays when it was. Jaylon Johnson and Xavier Crawford each conceded just one reception, but both went for a touchdown. 

Artie Burns gave up two receptions for 22 yards but was the only Bears cornerback to force an incompletion in the game. The Bears combined to allow 75 yards on five receptions in coverage.

Player Coverage snaps Receptions allowed Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Eddie Jackson 21 0 0 0.0
Tashaun Gipson Sr. 21 1 9 104.2
Jaylon Johnson 19 1 21 158.3
Xavier Crawford 18 1 23 90.6
Artie Burns 17 2 22 88.2
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