The top offense in the NFL

Posted by Darren Urban on November 17, 2015 – 11:40 am

The Cardinals have the No. 1 offense in the NFL.

Yes, the official measure is by yards, and yards don’t win games. But it’s usually a pretty good measure of effectiveness, and with their 421.1 yards-per-game average, the Cards are the tops in the league (the Patriots are second at 418.7.) If you want to measure by points, the Cards are second in the NFL, with their 302 just one behind New England. The point is, the Cards move the ball well, and the sample size is big enough to understand this is reality in 2015.

(A quick side note: It will be an interesting matchup Sunday against the Bengals. Yes, Cincy laid an egg against the Texans, but it only allowed 10 points, and the Bengals have given up only 10 points in each of their last three games.)

The Cardinals have gained at least 414 yards in each of the last four games. The have at least 400 yards in seven of nine games — after gaining at least 400 yards in a game just six times total from 2010 through 2014. They’ve rushed for at least 100 yards in all but one game. With the league’s third-ranked defense (316.1 yards a game), the Cardinals outgain their opponents by more than 100 yards a game.

This is about balance. This is about an abundance of weapons (The Seahawks shut out John Brown and Michael Floyd got hurt and suddenly Jaron Brown stepped up.) It’s about good health, of course. It’s also about a quarterback who has been pretty magnificent thus far.

Of the seven defenses left on the schedule, four are top 11: Bengals (11th), Vikings (9th), Rams (6th) and Seahawks (2nd.) Of course, the Cardinals just lit up Seattle’s defense for 39 points and 451 yards. Assuming no major injuries, the Cards have shown they can move the ball on anyone.



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28 Responses to “The top offense in the NFL”

  1. By joe Holst on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Seems like David Johnson was shaky returning kicks – Shouldn’t have brought the last 4 out and looked slow and indecisive.

  2. By 'ZonaFan89 on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Bottom line – we can beat anyone in the league. This is the best we’ve arguably ever been equipped to win a Super Bowl. Let’s get it!! Rise Up Red Sea!!

  3. By Dynosoar on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    There’s been a lot of talk all season about how the Cardinals are not that great because they keep winning against teams with losing records. Considering 2/3 of the teams in the NFL have losing records right now, what choice do they have. That goes for all the teams in the 1/3 winning category.

    “Strange year this is.” ~ Yoda

    Like I said before our Seattle game, I wasn’t worried, they’re hyped, but not that good. Look at their wins and their losses, none are convincing.

    Our wins have been huge.

    I see a Cincinnati team that will want to prove themselves and will overplay, leading to errors and will fall to a healthy team with deep depth. The only game I’m concerned about the rest of the season is against Gurley, Carolina and New England (Sorry, meant St. Louis.)

  4. By Dynosoar on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    While watching the game last Sunday, my brother asked me about the Rams. His take, “the Rams have won four games, three of them against the NFC West. It seems they can only win in their division (well, plus one game) and no one in the division can beat them. What’s up with that?”

    This is why they are only one of three teams left for us to play that concern me. Then again, the Bears showed us how to limit Gurley, so with that tape in hand and the last one from our game, we’ll know how to stop him forevermore.

    I’m loving this season.

  5. By Joeldude on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    I can’t recall the last time the Cards had the #1 offense in the NFL – this is outstanding!! Our Cards are on fire and have created great momentum entering the second half of the season. Can’t wait for Sunday Night! Go Cards!!!

  6. By DTL on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    #1 Offense,and yet we’ve all seen so many plays we left on the field, like the 60+ yd bomb to Floyd that he just missed…

    Gruden had notable comment, that Bengals were biggest, most athletic team he had seen (or to that effect). They looked crisp early, then (like Cards against Rams), pedestrian later. Did our game Sunday night just get harder as Bengals got a message? Maybe. Still, think Cards are better.

    Looking at sched, toughest remaining teams, we catch at home: Bengals, Vikes, Pack, Hawks… Ok, hear it, what about Rams? We’re better, owe pay back, their QB play not so great.

    Cards could win out as likely as go 4-3…

    Cowherd had interesting comment today: cold, windy weather ahead favors teams with QBs with strongest arms – Brady, Flacco, Palmer, Newton, Rodgers… and not weak like Manning, Ryan, Bridgewater, Bradford et al … thinking about Cards matchcup in Carolina in late Jan/Feb? Owe them a little pay back as well, just sayin’…

  7. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Given how well Chris Johnson has played, and that we also have the other Johnson as well, does the role that Andre Ellington is now playing remind anyone else of the role Larod Stephens-Howling played a few years back? A smaller, dynamic back who could take a screen pass and go 30 yards, or be a threat to sweep outside for a big gain, but who was not the focal point of the offense. Maybe 5-10 touches a game.

    It’s great that we don’t have big egos on this team… there are so many weapons, we can’t even exploit them all fully.

  8. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosoar —

    At 4-3, having beaten us once, with Gurley emerging, and a softer schedule than we had for the remainder of the season, I was worried about the Rams.

    Two games later, I’m no longer concerned. Two straight sub-100 games for Gurley, and the team seems desperate turning to Keenum. A guy who the Texans — who have struggled to find a QB — decided wasn’t worth keeping around. All the more reason that we should be able to focus primarily on stopping Gurley. Force Keenum to beat us.

  9. By Dynosoar on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Here’s to a showdown of the two best scoring machines in the NFL facing off for the Lombardi.

    Then we’ll break the trend.

    (Trend – Seattle wins SB, then loses the following year to New England. New England wins SB, then loses the following year to Arizona. Arizona wins SB, then wins again the following year. Hehe!)

    Is it too early to say
    The Lombardi Trophy or Nothing At All!

    If it’s too early I’ll wait a few more weeks. (Hehe!)

    (Where’s brinnc? Hey man, I hope you’re not deployed again.)

  10. By Dynosoar on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,

    I agree, I’m not to concerned about the Rams, but as my brother pointed out, they really seem to dominate the NFC West. So I threw them in my three games for concern.

    With all the hype surrounding the Peterson (old man) vs. Gurley (up and comer) we saw, what will we see with two “old timers” squaring off when Peterson comes to town? Hehe! We win.

    I see us, if we continue to play as we have been in each of our wins and for four quarters instead of the two or three quarters we played against St. Louis and Pittsburgh, in the Big Dance. Because if we put together four quarters like we can and have and play with urgency and a vengeance like our fourth quarter in Seattle, no one can touch us this year.

    If we slack off like we did in St’ Louis, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, apparently we have a 1/3 chance at victory.

    I should change my mantra from – The Lombardi trophy or Nothing At All!


    Four Solid Quarters or Nothing At All!

  11. By georgiebird on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    I watch the games and no doubt, the Cardinals do have an excellent offense. The offensive line is a little weak but there are so many playmakers all over the offense that it has overcome the OL shortcomings.
    My worry has always been the “soft” defense especially the pass defense against vertical passing teams.

  12. By georgiebird on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Let’s stop complaining about all the plays we leave on the field. All teams (including our opponents) leave plays on the field. Also, read where the Browns felt they could have won our game with a healthy McCown.

  13. By Darren Urban on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: “Stop complaining”

    Everyone will stop complaining if you will.

  14. By Scott H on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Ya know….for at least the last two games, we lost the turnover battle, yet won the game. It usually doesn’t go that way. Damn….doesn’t it make ya wonder how good this team could REALLY be if they cut back on the T/O’s??? Would other teams even get CLOSE if we cut down on the T/O’s??? As little as there is to complain about these days, this still bothers me. Because I find it hard to just shrug and say who cares about turnovers, we’ll win the game anyway. I say cut back on the T/O’s and realize your FULL potential – which I don’t know that anyone could match right now.

    In terms of fire-power / weapons….when healthy, the Cardinals are probably the most loaded team in the NFL. I don’t think anyone matches our WR’s, now that Floyd is healthy and back to being the force he can be. We have depth everywhere and the O-line ( with Iupati ) is as good as anyone’s. But this is the NFL and we know that in the NFL, it’s all about the QB. And shy of Brady, we have the best QB in the NFL right now, making this whole thing go. Palmer has been nothing short of a maestro this season.

    Just as Warner was the locomotive that drove us back in 2008-2009, Palmer is doing the same this season. With him under center and all of out horses healthy, this offense is virtually un-stoppable. And with that in mind, I take back something I have said about Palmer many times since his arrival here because he has proven me wrong. I have said that even on his best day, Palmer is no Kurt Warner. And maybe on Warner’s BEST day ( that being his 2009 playoff game performance against the Packers, quite possibly the greatest game any QB has ever played ), Warner is still the better QB. BUT, fact is, Palmer IS consistently playing at Warner’s level right now and I did not think that was going to happen. It has. It IS.

    And NEVER have I been so glad to be wrong! 🙂

  15. By krehbieo14 on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply


    How many reps are Stinson and Martin getting on the Dline? Haven’t watched enough film to decipher that. Thanks.

  16. By Darren Urban on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Krehbieo —

    RE: Stinson/Martin

    Stinson played 13 defensive snaps Sunday. Martin, who is a linebacker now, only played special teams.

  17. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    It’s kind of weird to be the top offense in the league. It almost feels like we have not played all that well because of all the points that we’ve left on the field because of our own mistakes. I’m still waiting for that game where everything clicks.

  18. By Credit Card on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Card fans, remember one game at a time. All NFL teams have professional athletes with coaches willing to do anything for a win. Add in a weird shaped ball, refs that see things mankind doesn’t, and refs that don’t see things that even a blind person readily sees. Weird things happen.

    The Cards are loaded with talent, have a good coaching staff, and are motivated to win.

    I was impressed on how the Cards came back last Sunday. That game was a knock’em sock’em match. The Seahawks knew they had to win, they played their best. Lynch was as vicious I’ve ever seen him. The Cards matched the intensity and won. It really was a statement type of game.

    I am in hopes the Cards can keep that intensity this coming Sunday. If they do, the Cards will win.

  19. By louis on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    go cards

  20. By Scott H on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    I think the Bengals losing last night wakes them up / shakes them up and gives them a reason to re-focus. Hard to believe they were as bad as they were last night. I was kinda tired from the night before ( gee, I wonder why…:) ) so I only made it to half-time. But it sure didn’t look to me like the Texans were doing anything real dynamic on defense to stifle them – the Bengals were just flat out bad. They were sloppy and they didn’t look ready.

    There is a lesson to be learned there.

    It is also possible that last night spooked the Bengals and created some doubt in their minds that maybe they really aren’t as good as everyone ( power rankings, pre-game shows, post-game shows, etc ) has been telling them they are. And now, on a short week, they have to travel to take on the best team they have seen this season. They also still know they have that monkey on their backs, that they are that team that makes the playoffs every year only to come up real small on the big stage. One and done every year….Andy Dalton not good enough to get them over the hump….they have their demons. And they have to be hearing those demons after last night. How THEY will respond to that….who knows?

    The win in Seattle WAS a statement game for the Cardinals but if they go from that to flat the next time they take the field, it doesn’t go very far. I believe the win against Seattle showed that facing a heavy-weight brings out the best in the Cardinals. The Seahawks knocked them down for the count in the 4th quarter on Sunday night but the Cardinals got back up and THEY went right back to work and delivered the knock-out punch themselves. Statement game? Hell, yeah! But unless that was the Super Bowl, then you either follow that up with another knock-out or you fall back to being just one team in the mix in the NFC.

    I believe the Cardinals will stay sharp and look much as they did in Seattle.

  21. By Richard S on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    I don’t think you can count on Cincy receivers dropping passes like I saw them do in the Monday nite game. Cards need to put up some points to win Sunday nite.

  22. By Big Ken on Nov 17, 2015 | Reply

    Prelude to the Super Bowl, Cardinals verses Patriots? It makes me a little dizzy thinking about it. How about defeating the undefeated Patriots, oh the history!

  23. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply

    @Richard….you are absolutely right. Andy Dalton did not lose the game but his tight end Eifert may have. I expect us to win on Sunday but I also expect a better effort from the Bengals. I hope Michael Floyd is good to go. He had a great game Sunday until he got hurt. And, what about Houston? Suddenly they are back from the dead. If they can beat the Jets at home on Sunday they are back in the mix. And the Bears. Also given up for dead not so long ago. And the Packers and the Broncos not looking so great. That’s what I love about the NFL…..on any given Sunday (or Monday or Thursday) anything can happen. Keep going Cardinals !!!

  24. By DTL aka Patrick Hoog on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply

    “#1 Offense, and yet we’ve all seen so many plays we left on the field, like the 60+ yd bomb to Floyd that he just missed…”

    Not intended as a complaint, observation that there is even more upside, belief they may not have yet reached their potential.

    GO C. Palmer, Go Cards.

  25. By D on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply

    I give props to Palmer having to learn 171 plays in 5 days, good read in SI this am. I wonder how that compares to other successful offenses around the league.

  26. By mal on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply


    I think you ought to suggest to the appropriate folks that the cheerleaders do a Drew Stanton routine this coming SNF game. People would love it.

  27. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Stanton

    As a matter of fact, they are already practicing it!

  28. By DTL aka Patrick Hoog on Nov 18, 2015 | Reply


    Thx for heads up on SI article, loved it.

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