Against Seahawks, David Johnson turns it on late to keep chasing history
— 🚨 Ronnie Laybold 🐾 (@YotesHereToStay) December 25, 2016
When in doubt, Carson Palmer went with what he knew with the Cardinals trailing and only a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
After the Seattle Seahawks had tied the game with a touchdown and missed extra point Saturday at CenturyLink Field, the Arizona quarterback threw seven passes at five different receivers. The three he completed were to his two favorite targets — Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson.
By that point, Johnson was at risk of ending his streak of 14 straight games of 100 or more yards from scrimmage. He had 98 total yards, 95 of which came on the ground, where he had already scored three touchdowns.
But it was Johnson going into full wide receiver mode that helped Arizona win and led the running back to close with 136 total yards, tying Barry Sanders for the most consecutive 100-yard games in NFL history.
On 2nd-and-10 with 55 seconds left, Palmer found Johnson for 13 yards to break the 100-yard mark.
Later, with Arizona at its own 38-yard line, he caught a 29-yard reception with safety Kam Chancellor in coverage. Johnson looked more receiver than running back on the play.
Johnson read the short throw and came back to make the grab.
“I was going to throw it deep, but as soon as I saw Kam out there, you could tell right when Dave got off the ball, Kam just turned and sprinted for the goal,” Palmer said after the game. “Just give him a chance to make a back-shoulder throw [catch]. There’s not many running backs…it’s a tough ball for receivers to catch; there’s definitely not many running backs who can make that play.”
Four plays and one Fitzgerald catch later, kicker Chandler Catanzaro hastily got his unit on the field for a 43-yard, game-winning field goal with the clock expired.
Earlier in the fourth, Johnson ripped off a 33-yard jaunt that pushed him over the 2,000 yards from scrimmage barrier, a first for a Cardinal.
And before that, Johnson’s first touchdown broke a team record for the most total for a season, and by the end of the night, his 20 for the season surpassed the previous record of 17 set by John David Crow. Johnson, the second-year pro out of Northern Iowa, has 33 touchdowns in his first 31 games with one game against the Rams remaining on the year.
“It does really mean a lot, especially since all the success is due to the guys up front,” Johnson said of the broken franchise records. “You know Carson (Palmer) believing in me, throwing me the ball. BA (Bruce Arians) putting me in those situations where I could help out the team.”