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Justin Pugh Steps Up, And Other Pro Football Focus Observations

Emergency right tackle grades out well against the 49ers

Justin Pugh had to battle 49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa at right tackle.
Justin Pugh had to battle 49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa at right tackle.

After the Cardinals' 28-25 loss on Thursday night, Justin Pugh was lamenting the difficulty of moving from left guard to right tackle on three days' notice.

The veteran offensive lineman had to do it because the Cardinals were without Justin Murray – the third right tackle sidelined by injury after previous losses of Marcus Gilbert and Jordan Mills.

While the situation was less than ideal, Pugh did a tremendous job of holding up, according to Pro Football Focus. He was given a grade of 79.4, which was the third-best on offense and his highest mark of the season.

Mason Cole was inserted into the lineup at left guard and also did well, earning a 68.1 grade, which was fourth on the offense and second on the line behind Pugh.

Other Pro Football Focus observations from the game:

  • Running back Kenyan Drake had a monster game, and PFF agreed. He led the team with an 88.4 overall grade, getting standout marks in rushing (84.3), receiving (84.5) and even pass-blocking (81.4).
  • Cornerback Patrick Peterson had one of the worst-graded games of his career. He was given a 34.9 overall mark, which was second-worst on defense. His pass coverage of 29.2 was lowest on the team.
  • Rookie safety Jalen Thompson graded out well with a mark of 72.9, highest on the defense among players with 40 snaps. Linebacker Joe Walker took advantage of his increased playing time by garnering a grade of 72.1, including an excellent mark of 84.8 against the run.
  • Quarterback Kyler Murray's statistics were very good, but PFF wasn't as impressed, giving him a grade of 55.0. That's likely because much of his passing yardage came from yards after catch.