Pro Football Focus may still think Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson has been the worst running back in the NFL.
No matter, the website’s Neil Hornsby rates Arizona’s offense as the best in the league.
The Cardinals rank first in passing, first in receiving and last in rush offense. Pro Football Focus also rates the run blocking as fourth-best in the NFL, while the pass protection sits 22nd. Altogether, Carson Palmer and company are effective, efficient and able to overcome their flaws.
Palmer has played well despite being under relatively frequent pressure and the receivers have been open downfield, writes Hornsby.
Arizona may be known for its deep passes created from play-action, but it has actually thrived by attacking at the second level.
No one is better in the 10–19 yard range, where they are 67-of-90 for 1,015 yards, nine touchdowns, and only one interception—a QB rating of 139.8.
As far as the run game is concerned, Pro Football Focus is quick to give most of the credit to the offensive line. It has gifted Johnson 2.26 yards before contact, third-best in the league.
The numbers probably only tell part of the story. Even if other teams begin to figure the running game out, there seems to be much room for head coach Bruce Arians to make the necessary tweaks as the season grows old — for example, Arizona has hardly gone to Andre Ellington, who was supplanted by Johnson as the starting back this season.
When it comes down to it, the Cardinals have a diverse set of weapons at the skill positions, and a quarterback and offensive line to make good things happen.
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