David Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards and received for 879 yards in his 2016 campaign making him the highest all-purpose yards running back in the NFL last season. If you play Fantasy Football like me, you saw David Johnson go as the number one pick. This made it even more heartbreaking for fantasy owners and Cardinal fans when David Johnson left the season opener against Detroit with a dislocated wrist.
Now we are learning that he requires surgery that to repair his dislocated wrist that would put him out for two to three months.
So does losing David Johnson end the Arizona Cardinal’s hopes for a successful 2017 season? Not yet, but their margin for error has diminished significantly. To have a successful season, the Cardinals must improve at all points of the offense to make up for Johnson’s injury.
Things That Must Improve
It all starts with the offensive line, though they only allowed one sack on Sunday they did not allow Carson Palmer to sit in the pocket long.
Speaking of Carson Palmer, for the Arizona Cardinals to have a productive season he has to perform better. Palmer was 27 for 48 with three interceptions one of which was taken back for a touchdown to ice the game. With a completion percentage of 56.3 percent and a passer rating at 53.1 Carson Palmer simply has to improve if the Cardinals have any chance of winning anything this season. With All-Pro talents like Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown as your wide receivers, the Cardinals pass offense should be far superior to what they were on Sunday.
Another group that needs to improve for the Arizona Cardinals to stand a chance of winning this year is the defense. The defense gave up for passing touchdowns including two in the fourth quarter. The Detroit Lions lead time of possession by 6 minutes, and when it came down to it, that was what gave Detroit the win. The Cardinals did hold the Lions under 100 yards rushing, but that was more due to the Lions ineptitude than the Cardinals defense. The defense this season is going to have to make up for the lack of production on the offensive side of the ball. With four pro bowlers on the defense, I do not think that is too much to ask.
The Running Game
Things may look bad if you are a Cardinals fan but there is hope in this darkness. The back up running crew is not that bad. If you forget about the five carries for 10 yards on Sunday, then Kerwynn Williams is still a promising back. He averages 5.8 yards a carry and is not known for fumbling the ball with only two fumbles in his 3-year career.Another running back that will pick up the slack will have to be Andre Ellington. He had over 1000 all-purpose yards in 2013 and again in 2014. With a chance of more playing time, it is possible that Ellington can reach that 1000 yard mark again.
Another running back that will pick up the slack will have to be Andre Ellington. He had over 1000 all-purpose yards in 2013 and again in 2014. With a chance of more playing time, it is possible that Ellington can reach that 1000 yard mark again.
Finally, there is the wild card with Chris Johnson who was just released by the Cardinals this August. Once a top back in the league, he was held to only 95 yards last season. But given a chance to shine again, maybe he can reach the 10,000-yard threshold that he is only 463 yards away from. If he returns to his old self, then the Cardinals would be set.Just losing David Johnson will not alone end the Cardinals Season, but only time will tell if they are a complete enough team to handle
Just losing David Johnson will not alone end the Cardinals Season, but only time will tell if they are a complete enough team to handle a blow of this scale.