ARIZONA CARDINALS

David Johnson, Cardinals running backs ranked as third best in the NFL

Jul 19, 2017, 4:09 PM
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs for a touchdown as Washington Redskins corne...
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs for a touchdown as Washington Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller (38) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Throughout the history of the Cardinals in Arizona, one thing they have not been known for is a great running game. Edgerrin James, who only played for the Cardinals from 2006-08, leads the franchise — since it’s been in Arizona — in rushing yards with 2,895.

David Johnson may very soon be changing that record, but in the meantime he has changed the perception of Cardinals running backs.

Last season, the former third-round pick ran for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding another 879 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

Johnson’s numbers are in part why when ranking NFL running backs by team, Nate Davis of USA Today Sports put the Cardinals at No. 3.

Only a Week 17 injury prevented David Johnson from becoming the first player to have 100 yards from scrimmage in all 16 regular-season games. Now he’s set his sights on becoming the third player to have both 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same year. Don’t bet against him … but don’t bet on the Cards if gets hurt.

This ranking speaks volumes about Johnson’s production, because as Davis is ranking teams’ running back units, the 2016 All-Pro is essentially the Cardinals entire unit.

Four other running backs got a carry for Arizona last season, but the closest to Johnson’s yardage total was Kerwynn Williams with 157 yards, 1,082 behind Johnson.

Those numbers may increase next season as head coach Bruce Arians has dubbed Johnson “the focal point” of the offense and wants to see him get 30 or more touches a game.

Arizona Cardinals

Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
1 day ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
3 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
4 days ago
David Johnson, Cardinals running backs ranked as third best in the NFL