James Conner missed two games, and then he came back and showed why he is so important to the Cardinals.
The running back had the team's best Pro Football Focus grade (75.7) against the Seahawks Sunday, ultimately playing 46 of the Cards' 76 offensive snaps -- and he would have played many more if he hadn't suffered a ribs injury after yet another first-down play. Now the watch of Conner's health will be top of mind as the Cardinals' prepare for their playoff game.
Conner's backup, Eno Benjamin, played 25 snaps himself and also had a good 70.7 grade. With the injuries of both Conner and Chase Edmonds a potential factor this week, it'll be interesting to see if Benjamin will be important in the postseason.
No non-OL/QB played more snaps than tight end Zach Ertz (70), who continues to evolve as possibly the most important part of the offense the way the season has played out. Second tight end Darrell Daniels was used on only 24 snaps. At wide receiver, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green each played 68, with Antoine Wesley at 57, Greg Dortch at 12 and Andy Isabella at 2. (With Dortch surpassing Isabella on the depth chart and Rondale Moore expected back this week, Isabella won't be getting any real opportunity.)
Three offensive linemen actually had pretty good grades: right tackle Kelvin Beachum (71.0), center Rodney Hudson (70.9) and right guard Max Garcia (65.7). Kyler Murray was at 66.4.
On defense, it was Zach Allen, who scored his first NFL touchdown on the early fumble recovery, with the best grade at 75.3. Allen also played 55 of 58 snaps, his highest percent of the year. Safety Jalen Thompson (a 66.9 grade) also played 55 snaps, while the workhorse quartet of Jordan Hicks, Byron Murphy, Isaiah Simmons and Budda Baker played all 58.
At outside linebacker, Chandler Jones led the way with 50 snaps, ahead of Markus Golden (43), Devon Kennard (15) and Dennis Gardeck (12).
Corey Peters had the second-most snaps on the defensive line (32). Cornerback Antonio Hamilton had 51, while struggling newcomer Breon Borders played 18. Linebacker Zaven Collins played just eight defensive snaps.
Among the best defensive grades were Peters (71.1), Golden (70.1), defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence (69.3 on 29 snaps), Murphy (67.0), Baker (65.4), Hicks (65.1), Gardeck (64.7) and Collins (63.2).