The case for David Johnson’s 1,000-1,000

Posted by Darren Urban on December 14, 2016 – 10:34 am

The Cardinals will still play to win the games. Bruce Arians said it, and I’m sure Herm Edwards approves. But there are other things to look at besides results when the postseason isn’t really in play. One of those things is David Johnson’s quest to become the third player to gain 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season.

Johnson already has 1,000 yards rushing, at 1,085 to be exact. It is in the receiving column where he faces the uphill climb — he has 745 yards (on 69 catches), and gaining 255 yards through the air in the last three games isn’t a given. But it’s not impossible, either. There are reasons to think the Cardinals will push for it, at least in an attempt to get it done.

— I’ve had more than a few fans ask about powering down Johnson’s touches over the last three games, to protect him for the future. I don’t see that happening, not if you are playing to win games. He’s their best player — you’ll need him.
— With all the wide receiver woes right now — Michael Floyd’s issues on and off the field, Smokey Brown’s leg problems, even Larry Fitzgerald battling aches and pains — Johnson is clearly one of the team’s better pass catchers. Forget his own stats, he’s necessary in the aerial game.
— Because he is your best player and your best runner, teams gear up to stop him in the run. The pass game is the easiest way to circumvent that and still have him make a difference.
— Oh, and Johnson wants to reach that double mark too.

I’m not saying the Cardinals will target him 15 times a game, the rest of the game plan and/or defense be damned, just to reach that mark. But that’s the best part about this whole thing — the Cards don’t have to do a whole lot out of the ordinary. In the first six games of the season, Johnson had no more than four catches in a game. Since then — seven games — Johnson has never had fewer than five catches in a game, and at least seven five times. This still could come organically, and that’d be the best way for it to happen and for Johnson to join Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig.


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24 Responses to “The case for David Johnson’s 1,000-1,000”

  1. By rod on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Count me in the camp of shutdown David Johnson. He is a top 3 RB in the entire league, if he got hurt the last meaningless games EVERYBODY would end up wishing he’d have sat out.

    Go Cardinals in 2017 !!

  2. By Eric G on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards should do what they did with Larry Centers in 1995 during Buddy Ryan’s infamous last game on Christmas against the Cowboys where he started walking off the field and the rest of the team kept calling timeouts and throwing short passes to Centers to get him over 100 receptions for the year and setting the record that lasted 19 years until Forte broke it.

    Michael Floyd should not be on the field Sunday. I will actually be very disappointed in the team if he is dressed for the game. Passed out at the wheel with his foot on the brake, he was lucky he didn’t injure or kill anyone. The evidence looks crystal clear and he should be immediately suspended by the team. I don’t want him back on the team next year. He is a liability on the field, and now off of it. Millionaire dumb@$$ who can’t pay for Uber or a cab.

  3. By Andy M on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    The concept of a K-K season possibly occurring in an “organic” way seems to be balanced. Sure, it would be nice if it is to occur and something to root for with a player everyone seems to love, but over-emphasizing statistical goals is pretty hollow and the bastion of losing organizations. In terms of shutting DJ down; come on, this is football. Physical risk is what is compelling about the sport for so many. Otherwise, the Cardinals end up with the Andre Ellington syndrome again. Backing off–even just a little–is how injuries often occur, players go through the motions, missed tackles proliferate and the Cardinals finish the season with three more losses.

  4. By LadyBird04 on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    If David Johnson is close going into the last game, definitely go for it. I remember the year they had 3 1,000 yd. receivers. Last game, 4th quarter and there was the pass that made the 3rd 1,000 yard receiver. DJ has been the shining light on this team this year, if he is healthy, if he is close, go for it, he more than deserve it, even if it means throwing to him over and over again. At this point in the season, with the record the Cards have, I don’t think any rational person believes that course of action would hurt the Cards chances of making the play-offs.

    RE: Floyd – get help and good luck with another team.

  5. By D on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    He’ll do it, he is having a MVP year. DJ is the franchise once Larry retires.

    If anybody should be powered down, it should be the HoneyBadger, need him healthy for next season.

    Defense for 2017

    This recent espn Mock draft got me thinking on how AZ can improve their D for next year.

    Let’s say D. Kizer from ND, QB, is drafted before the Cards. AZ could have a draft pick anywhere from 10-16, assuming Mr. Keim doesn’t trade down.

    I would take the following:

    1st Round drafting R. Foster ILB from ALA. A complete butt kicking all around LB that will bring the pain and physicality this D is needing.

    Re-signing C. Jones.
    Very good chance if Jones is signed, we have seen the last of C. Campbell in Red. We all should enjoy these final games watching him play because he has been a very good player for AZ.

    Re-signing K. Minter. (he shouldn’t command high $)
    Resigning DJ. Swearinger to play FS.
    Moving DBucannon back to strong safety after losing some weight to be the ADub type of player he can be. (Jefferson plays the same role so he would move on in free agency.)

    Of course, the HoneyBadger and T. Branch under contract.

    Resign M. Cooper (he does have 4 ints this year) to compete with B. Williams and a 3rd round CB draft pick opposite of PP.

    The DLine would consist of: Peters, Nkemdiche, X. Williams, Gunter, Stinson and J. Mauro (he is restricted free agent, I would bring back)

    Campbell will be too rich for AZ, Frosty is a free agent. If all the above would occur, the DLine is young, with only Peters with any decent experience. I would probably sign a veteran that could help but still can contribute, maybe a Nick Fairley who will be a free agent.

    I would also try to bring back Okafor as your 3rd OLB pass rusher.

    To me, this Defense should be great.

    I would then take my 2nd round draft pick and select M. Rudolph QB Ok St.


  6. By clssylssy on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    With three games left David should be able to hit the mark just playing as he has ibeen without any extra “padding”. While many fans have jumped off the bandwagon, we could still play like we are capable and win these last games. I’m not really surprised to see Tyrann back for the Saints, just hope he can have another game against his old home team like the last time when he was able to intercept Brees (in the endzone as I recall). Glad to see Keim finally get around to signing some replacement players…too bad it took so long.
    I feel bad for Michael Floyd and hope the team will show the empathy and compassion they would for anyone suffering from a disease; it appears the “facts” that are coming out are less “sensational” that first reported and that his blood alcohol wasn’t much over the legal limit and could have been effected by blood thinners he was on. From all accounts, he is a good guy who has been struggling for some time and I hope the organization will get him into a treatment facility that specializes in “Professionals in Crisis”. I know from being at Cardinal games there are a lot of fans who will point fingers but who haven’t hesitated to drive after a day of tailgating and whooping it up at the game, but who hold players to a higher standard. I’m sure the NFL will discipline Floyd in due time but what he needs now is to get some help.
    Let’s go out there Sunday and play strong. This could easily be a trap game if we’ve already quite but I know we should have this, SO, RISE UP REDSEA & OWN THIS LAST HOME GAME!

  7. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    As a FAN I’ll be rooting for the Pony to get the 1Kx2. His humility has shades of the great Jim Brown an idol of mine with Hornung, John David Crow, Gale Sayers, Leroy Kelly. Of all, Sayers had the same gallop, same accleration, same excitement of David Johnson. Personally, I don’t think you play not to get injured, nor not to lose…fwiw. Let the Pony out…

  8. By D on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    M. Floyd= a nicer version of D. Boston

  9. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Let’s get Fitz as many catches as possible too!

  10. By joe holst on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    If you pad his numbers it will cost that much more $$$$ to resign him to an extension…

  11. By Richard S on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Glad to see the new holder/punter. Whatever happens the last 3 games don’t matter much anyway. Hopefully he’ll have a good 3 games in prep for next year and do a good job of holding and go on to be our punter/holder next year. This year is a bust. I’ll be rooting for New Orleans as then the Cards will be in position to draft before the Saints. Let the rookies play and see what they’ve learned over the season. The Cards couldn’t wait any longer on Floyd. There are a lot of players the Cards need to draft next year to improve the team. The higher the draft picks the better.

  12. By Scott H on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Just saw where Floyd was cut today. My God, I can’t believe just how utterly wrong so many things have gone this season for this team. I keep thinking we’ve hit the bottom, but it just keeps getting worse.

    I wish Michael well with getting himself together. He clearly has problems that go far beyond the football field.

    Can’t help wondering….will Michael Floyd go on to become another Cris Carter? He has the talent…..

  13. By CardsNation on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Offseason/Free Agent pick up options

    WR: Floyd is gone, time to get a new WR.

    Alshon Jeffery to replace Floyd and eventually replace Larry.

    Terrelle Pryor is also valuable for a little bit of cheaper price.


    Offensive Line:

    T.J. Lang?
    Ron Leary (dealing with legal issue)

    Stephon Gilmore

    Inside Linebacker
    Malcolm Smith
    Dont’a Hightower (Highly unlikely)

  14. By RUSS on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply





  15. By Wild Blue Yonder on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Floyd was another Graves mistake.
    His DUI in 2011 should have been a RED FLAG for Graves (and his right-hand man, Keim) to NOT draft him).

    See this NFL article:

    Also Keim took a chance on N…., the NON-PLAYING FIRST ROUND DLineman draft pick, who had proven in college that he was a head case.

    When there are so many “clean” college players available, why take a chance on problem “children”.

  16. By Joseph Robinett on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, this D.J. cat is like a young Ali but without the brag’.

    Shout out to Patrick Peterson: Remember once upon a time when you were a rookie and running back punts fearlessly and spectacularly while running for the opponents end zone. Well, what happened to that shooting star, or was he just a mirage? Because the optical illusion, meaning you, P.P., that I’m painfully watching now is returning punts back by running as fast as he can to the nearest sideline. It’s a little hard to watch.

    Getting caught could be the best thing that’s happened to Michael Floyd since signing with the Cards, or it doesn’t have to be. Obviously, Mr. Floyd will decide it to be a blessing or bad luck.

  17. By JTDG on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply


    Just read your piece on Dysert. Does BA really think Dysert has a future here?

    I like Palmer’s comments, but is he just being polite?

    What a huge development it would be if he could go from 7th round pick (I believe) to possible starter???

  18. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Dysert

    I have no idea. I wrote what he said. They thought enough about him not to let him go. He may end up like Barkley, cut by August next year.

  19. By JTDG on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply


    Unfortunately, a couple Floyd questions.

    By cutting him in 2016, did they miss an opportunity to let him walk and get a compensatory pick?

    Second, with John Brown struggling and Floyd gone and Jaron Brown out, will we see more TEs ,more Ellington, or more Briton Golden?

    Remember when BA and Palmer said Ellington could be a receiver in this league back in 2013 or 14.

  20. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Floyd

    1) Maybe. But remember the comp picks aren’t 1-for-1. They factor in all the guys you lose and all the guys you sign. So right now, it’s impossible to know what they might’ve lost in that regard, if anything. It’s also based on the type of contract that guy signs as a free agent, and at this point — with a potential suspension looming next season and a poor year on the field — he wasn’t going to sign a big contract anyway.

    2) We’ll see how the WRs play out. Arians said John Brown should be in a place where he can take more snaps. Gresham has already been targeted a bunch of late.

  21. By Michael D Wellman on Dec 14, 2016 | Reply

    Com’on Man.
    Limiting DJ or sitting him would be like telling A-Dub (Adrian Wilson S) not to hit so hard when he played.

    It would be as Dumb as the cut WR was, drinking his life away as he knew it.

    Now I hope he gets his Stuff together, good luck Michael it’s been Fun watching you play the game.

    GO CARDS!!!

  22. By Eric G on Dec 15, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    No, Floyd will not become another Chris Carter.

  23. By dkerry5242 on Dec 15, 2016 | Reply

    You have to believe Johnson will be used a lot more as a receiver now that Floyd is gone. John Brown hasn’t done anything this year and Britton Golden isn’t that great or he would have been on the starting roster since day one. Maybe Ellington will get more touches; but he’ll have to show more than he has so far this season.

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