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Of Snap Counts And Grades: Vikings Game

Simmons continues to make impact plays

It looked like it might be the play that finally turned the game in favor of the Cardinals. It wasn't, but that didn't make Isaiah Simmons' strip-sack and subsequent recovery any less impressive of a play. It also underscored what defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said last week about Simmons' improvement since the opener (and loss of playing time as they rebuilt his confidence and understanding of his role.)

Simmons earned a team-best 87.7 Pro Football Focus grade against the Vikings, highlighted by his big forced turnover. Simmons also played 57 of 71 defensive snaps.

The defense ended up with more above-average PFF grades than the offense from Sunday's game. Safety Budda Baker (77.4), cornerback Byron Murphy (74.3), nose tackle Antwaun Woods (69.3), linebacker Tanner Vallejo (68.9), linebacker Markus Golden (66.6), defensive lineman Zach Allen (63.4) and linebacker Myjai Sanders (64.1) all fit in that group.

Playing time to note on that side of the ball included the 100 percent club (71 total snaps): Baker, Murphy, safety Jalen Thompson and linebacker Zaven Collins. Cornerback Marco Wilson was in for 69 plays, Golden led the edge rushers with 59, while Allen and J.J, Watt played 55 each. Woods had 13 as a Rashard Lawrence fill-in, while rookies Sanders and Cameron Thomas were at 11 and 13, respectively.

On the offensive side of the ball, it didn't take DeAndre Hopkins to ramp up. The offensive line all played all 78 snaps, as did QB Kyler Murray. The seventh? Hopkins, who also sported a unit-best 84.0 PFF grade.

Wide receiver Rondale Moore had his best game of the year (seven catches, 92 yards, a TD) in playing 77 snaps, while being one of three offensive players with an above-average PFF grade at 62.6. (Left tackle Josh Jones, playing for the injured D>J. Humphries, was the other at 70.4).

At running back, Eno Benjamin ended up with 58 snaps while Darrel Williams had 21. Keaontay Ingram did not play on offense. At wide receiver, A.J. Green started and played 37 snaps a week after not playing at all. Greg Dortch had 20 snaps and Robbie Anderson seven.