NFL News & Analysis

Refocused: Arizona Cardinals 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 24

Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) breaks up a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole in the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals were able to thwart the Jacksonville Jaguars comeback attempt and came out of the University of Phoenix Stadium with a 27-24 win.

QB Blaine Gabbert had two touchdowns versus one interception and threw for 241 yards, but he did have a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. RB Adrian Peterson added 79 yards on 20 carries and TE Ricky Seals-Jones scored yet another touchdown.

QB Blake Bortles did not have a passing touchdown, but he did run for two scores. However he did throw an interception to defensive back Tyrann Mathieu at a critical moment late in the game. RB Leonard Fournette was held well in check, running for only 25 yards on 12 carries.

Defensively, edge defender Chandler Jones harried Bortles during the game and came away with two sacks and Mathieu's interception prevented the Jaguars from attempting their own late score. With that, we give you our PFF-exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

T Jared Veldheer, 85.5 overall grade

CB Tyrann Mathieu, 84.1 overall grade

DI Xavier Williams, 83.4 overall grade

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, 81.7 overall grade

S Budda Baker, 80.6 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Blaine Gabbert, 39.5 overall grade

While the box score stat line looks solid, Gabbert had a little bit of luck on his side, as he four turnover worthy throws but only one was intercepted. Gabbert also had a costly fumble inside the 20 that was returned for a touchdown. He was able to manage a few very impressive throws but struggled when facing the blitz with a passer rating of 10.9. The Cardinals game plan to neutralize the vaunted Jaguars pass-rush was to utilize a quick passing game where Gabbert's 2.25 time to attempt was the fourth fastest of the week.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones81.7 overall grade

With most of the Jaguars attention on stopping Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald, the backup tight-end was oft forgot as he hauled in four of six targets for 72 yards and a touchdown, good for a passer rating of 147.2 when targeted. On the field for just 17 snaps, Seals-Jones made the most of them with 5.54 yards per route run.

CB Tyrann Mathieu84.1 overall grade

Mathieu had a fine day in coverage, allowing just two receptions on four targets for a total of just two yards; he also made what could have been a game-saving interception with just a few minutes to go in the game, as Jacksonville was positioning themselves for a go-ahead field goal. Mathieu also tacked on two pressures (both hurries), making it his fifth game in a row with at least one pressure.

Edge Chandler Jones, 77.9 overall grade

Jones had a very nice game in run defense, posting an 84.8 grade in that department to go with three run stops on 20 run-defense snaps. Jones currently (at the conclusion of the Sunday afternoon games) ranks second among edge defenders this week with a 15.0 run-stop percentage. The veteran edge defender also tallied four pressures (two hurries and two sacks) on 34 pass-rush attempts; Jones has tallied multiple pressures in every game so far through Week 12.

Top 5 Grades:

Edge Calais Campbell, 88.3 overall grade

CB Jalen Ramsey, 87.8 overall grade

LB Paul Posluszny, 84.7 overall grade

S Tashaun Gipson, 83.6 overall grade

CB A.J. Bouye, 81.3 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Blake Bortles, 44.5 overall grade

Outside of a fumble which he recovered himself, Bortles had a nice game moving the ball with his legs. When it came to throwing the ball, though, things were a bit of a different story for the Jags signal caller. Bortles didn't complete a single pass that traveled at least 10 yards down the field in the air on six attempts and he had no answer for the Cardinals blitz, completing just 4-of-13 attempts for 26 yards and an interception when the Cardinals brought the blitz.

RB Leonard Fournette, 43.1 overall grade

Fournette couldn't get anything going on the ground down in the desert, earning just 25 yards on 12 carries with a long of eight yards. The fourth-overall pick in this years draft didn't force a single missed tackle and on his 12 carries he had three go for zero or fewer yards while only picking up one first down for the Jags on the ground.

Edge Calais Campbell88.3 overall grade

Because of the quick passing game utilized by the Cardinals, Campbell failed to record a sack for just the third time this year. He was able to apply some pressure on the quarterback as he recorded a hit and three hurries. Campbell was strong in the run game, with two stops while consistently clogging running lanes and making life difficult for Adrian Peterson.

CB Jalen Ramsey87.8 overall grade

The Florida State product continues his impressive sophomore campaign, as he was charged with shadowing Larry Fitzgerald for most of the game, limiting the future hall of famer to just two catches for -4 yards (although to be fair to Larry, one catch was on a batted pass that might have been a lateral that went for -8 yards). While Ramsey failed to record a pass defense or interception for just the third time this season, he allowed a total of four yards into his coverage on the day.

PFF Game Ball: Tyrann Mathieu, CB

Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback, Arizona Cardinals

*Grades are subject to change upon review


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