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Cardinals’ offseason additions should improve historically bad offense

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) runs for a touchdown after the catch against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Air Raid offense is coming to the desert with the intentions of turning around a historically bad offensive season for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.

New faces at the skill positions were put in place to jump start coach Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure as the offensive play-caller, but it could be an old face that determines how quickly the Cardinals offense can turn things around.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN ranked all 32 offenses in the NFL and placed the Cardinals in the No. 27 spot.

Barnwell believes that getting running back David Johnson going this season could be the key to improving the entire offense.

If Johnson doesn’t piece together an impressive year, it’ll make the 27-year-old’s breakout campaign from 2016 look more like an aberration than an indication of what was to come.

Last season, Barnwell ranked the Cardinals offense No. 20 and in 2017 he ranked the group No. 9.

New faces at quarterback, wide receiver and tight end, including No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray helped the Cardinals avoid the bottom of Barnwell’s rankings.

Free-agent acquisitions Charles Clay and Kevin White along with draft picks Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson were all cited as reasons why the offense should improve this season.

Barnwell expects the Cardinals to not rely as heavily on Larry Fitzgerald and sees Johnson and wide receiver Christian Kirk as the two playmakers that will define the success of the offense.

The Cardinals were the only team in the NFL to generate less than 4,000 yards of total offense in 2018, finishing with 3,865 yards on the year. They finished with 700 less yards than the second-worst offense in the league, the Miami Dolphins who finished with 4,638 yards.

Kansas City led the league last year with 6,810 yards of offense and were ranked No. 2 in Barnwell’s 2019 rankings. The Los Angeles Rams finished as the No. 1 team, according to Barnwell.

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