GLENDALE Ariz — The Cardinals have both a reputa


first_img GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Cardinals have both a reputation and the personnel to throw the ball down the field with a big-armed quarterback and a bevy of dynamic receivers.The New York Jets, on the other hand, have a stout run defense but a suspect secondary.So, naturally, the Cardinals ran around, through and over the Jets Monday night on their way to a 28-3 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium.When it was all over with, the Cardinals running backs combined for 150 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. “I don’t need any credit for that, I’m just doing my job. But it was exciting.”The play resulted in the Cardinals’ first first-quarter points this season and gave them a lead they would never relinquish. It also provided the team’s best offensive highlight — and easily its longest rushing play of the game — but as the game wore on, it was Arizona’s ability to continue pounding the ball that really spoke volumes.The Jets knew the Cardinals wanted to run and yet could do nothing to stop it. It was similar to Arizona’s last game against San Francisco, except unlike the 49ers, who offered one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, the Jets were supposed to be capable of offering resistance.Yet, they did not.“We knew they were the second in the NFL in run defense, but the guys up front make my life a lot easier,” Johnson said. “The way they’re blocking, not just the O-line, but like I’ve said, everyone, not just at the line of scrimmage but down the field. We know that if we get it going early we can continue to sustain the momentum and continue to run the ball.”It was like a snowball that, as it continued to roll down the hill, only grew larger and more difficult to contain. Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson, right, celebrates his touchdown with teammates D.J. Humphries (74), Jaron Brown (13) and Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Top Stories Does Johnson’s rise signal a changing of the guard with Arizona’s offense? Johnson said life for him is a lot easier with the team blocking the way it has been, and he pointed out that if they continue to have this kind of success on the ground then teams are likely going to focus more on stopping him. That, in turn, will eventually open things up for Carson Palmer and the passing game.Palmer, pleased with the win, admitted he doesn’t get too excited about guiding an offense that moves down the field four yards at a time but understands it makes his offensive linemen happy.“If they’re happy, I’m happy,” he said.It’s simple, really. As defenses have taken away the Cardinals’ down-field passing attack, there have been more openings for Johnson and the running game. And if Arizona’s running game continues to shine?“You play our offense even, it’s going to be a fun one,” right tackle D.J. Humphries said. “If you have to play our offense, it’s going to be fun.” – / 33 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   center_img “We misfit the long run, obviously,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “We misfit a couple runs late in the game, but they were out on the field and they got wore down. We’ve got to get back to trying to stop the run.”The Cardinals, meanwhile, will likely keep pounding the ball. When you have a talent like Johnson, it would be silly not to.Never one to heap too much praise on his running back, Arians said he thought Johnson “played extremely well.”“I’ll grade the tape, but nothing glaring other than one missed blitz pickup,” Arians said.High praise, indeed.Johnson himself pointed to the error in blitz pickup, saying it’s another thing he must continue to improve at. But as a runner, he has quickly developed into one of the best in the NFL. And with him running at an elite level, the Cardinals’ offense, while not quite as explosive as last season, has a dynamic that teams cannot seem to stop, even when they know it’s coming.“When you’re able to impose your will on somebody, they know that this play is going to come — we’re going to continue to run it — and guys are able to execute, that’s a wonderful feeling,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “You should see the offensive linemen in the huddle; when they know the running play is coming, they get so excited. We don’t get as excited, but we still do our job. Those guys get really excited when the running play is in, especially when a back like David is getting going. They want to see him continue to get more.” “I thought this is a heck of a defense to run the ball against and I thought we accomplished that,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, crediting the interior offensive lineman — left guard John Wetzel, center A.Q. Shipley and right guard Earl Watford — for making it happen.While they may have opened the holes, it was mostly David Johnson who ran through them. The second-year pro tallied 111 yards and all three touchdowns on 22 carries, and only added to his record-setting campaign.He got going early.After a three-yard run during Arizona’s first drive, which ended with a punt, he took the first carry of the second drive to the left and, 58 yards later, put the Cardinals ahead 7-0.“It did get us to a good start, a good momentum builder,” Johnson said after the game. “It was just a power, really. It was great blocking. I’d seen the guy who kind of overplayed it, had to cut it, and the rest was great blocking by all the guys.”Cardinals coach Bruce Arians singled out Watford for his effort on that play, noting the guard pulled and pushed a couple guys out of the way to clear a path for Johnson far down the field.“Just trying to finish, that’s all,” Watford said. “Just doing my job and David being David, just running. He did a great job on that. Made a few guys miss, I got in front of a few guys and touchdown. It was good, it was awesome. It was awesome by him. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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