Even without head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray conducted his team down the field with ease. The Arizona Cardinals scored on all five possessions in the first half to catapult themselves to a 37-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
The Cardinals remain the only undefeated team in the NFL, while the Browns fall to .500.
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Kyler Murray threw for a season-low 229 yards, but his four touchdowns and two big-time throws helped put his team over the top. Despite being without his usual play-caller, Murray put up an 81% adjusted completion percentage and his average target was nearly 10 yards downfield. He finished the game with a pending 75.0 passing grade and a 129.0 passer rating.
James Conner wasn’t used much in the early part of the game, with most of his carries coming in the second half to close out the win. He ran the ball 16 times for 71 yards on the ground, and over 90% of his yards came after contact. Conner also forced three missed tackles.
Wide receiver/tight end
Murray targeted only six pass-catchers in the game, but that was all he needed to make plays down the field. DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Christian Kirk each caught at least one touchdown pass, with Green leading the way (79 receiving yards). Both Hopkins and Green posted a perfect passer rating when targeted, and all three receivers averaged over 15 yards per reception.
The Cardinals' offensive line allowed only seven pressures and one sack, but three members of the unit graded below 55.0 in pass protection on first review. Max Garcia was the only lineman to not allow a pressure, and he finished with a team-high 83.9 pass-blocking grade, pending review.
|Player||Pass-Blocking Grade*||Pass-Blocking Snaps||Sacks Allowed||Beaten by Defender|
*PFF grades will be finalized and made available by 1 p.m. Monday
Arizona was creating constant pressure on Mayfield, as the defensive line sacked him three times and generated 16 pressures in the game. Markus Golden finished with two sacks while also leading the team in pressures (seven). J.J. Watt also got in on the action with three pressures, including his first sack of the season.
Jordan Hicks and Isaiah Simmons each played 55 defensive snaps, and both made an impact in the game. Hicks rushed Mayfield only five times but sacked him twice. Hicks also created four defensive stops to help him earn one of the highest defensive grades on the team. Simmons, who also made four defensive stops, allowed four receptions in coverage, but only one went for a first down.
Despite allowing a desperate Hail Mary heave before halftime, the Cardinals' secondary played well in coverage and clamped down when it needed a stop. Marco Wilson was deemed responsible for the Hail Mary and allowed 120 receiving yards in coverage. Outside of Wilson, no member of the secondary conceded more than 40 yards.
|Player||Tgts||Rec||TDs||INT + FINC||Passer Rtg Allowed|
|Byron Murphy Jr.||6||3||0||1||68.8|
Baker Mayfield’s nagging shoulder injury hindered his performance in the second half. After throwing for 171 yards and two touchdowns across the first 30 minutes of game action, Mayfield managed only 63 yards and one turnover-worthy play in the final two quarters.
He was sacked five times and lost a fumble when scrambling out of the pocket, which caused only more pain to his left shoulder. Still, he averaged 8.4 yards per pass attempt and finished the game with a 100.0-plus passer rating.
Baker Mayfield by half
|1st Half||2nd Half|
The Browns didn’t rush for their typical numbers, but Kareem Hunt still ran the ball efficiently without Nick Chubb in the fold. Hunt carried the ball 14 times for 66 yards with two broken tackles. Three carries went for 10-plus yards, with nearly 61% of his yards coming after contact.
Unfortunately, Hunt left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury that could spell trouble for the Browns, who play on Thursday night in Week 7.
Wide receiver/tight end
Donovan Peoples-Jones led the team with four receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a 57-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half. Odell Beckham Jr. left the game for some time but returned in the second half and finished the day with 79 receiving yards. Both receivers were the main targets of the game, as the next closest receiver managed only 14 receiving yards.
Mayfield took five sacks in the game, but none were credited against the offensive line. The unit allowed only nine pressures, with J.C. Tretter being the only member to stay clean in pass protection. Four linemen earned 70.0-plus pass-blocking grades upon first review.
Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney were the only ones to create consistent pressure, as the duo combined for two sacks and eight of the unit’s 11 pressures. Both Garrett and Clowney graded 80.0 or higher on pass-rush snaps, with nobody else receiving a grade above 70.0 upon first review.
|Player||Pass-Rush Grade||Sacks||Pressures||Win %|
It was a rough day for Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who missed a tackle on 33% of his attempts. He was also responsible for allowing a touchdown in coverage. He did create three defensive stops, but the rookie linebacker is set to earn the worst defensive grade of his season.
The Browns secondary was responsible for allowing over 200 yards in coverage and three touchdowns. Greedy Williams, Troy Hill and Ronnie Harrison each allowed a touchdown, with Williams conceding the most yards in coverage (79).
Denzel Ward received the highest grade in the Browns' secondary after allowing two receptions on two targets for 12 yards and a first down.
|Player||Cov. Snaps||Comp %||Yds||TDs||Passer Rtg Allowed|
|John Johnson III||31||40%||18||0||50.4|