Searching for more yards each run

Posted by Darren Urban on November 21, 2017 – 1:32 pm

What Bruce Arians said about the run game Monday in terms of the fourth-and-1 that didn’t get the 1 is what got the headlines. But before that, Arians again brought up the overall struggles of the Cardinals running the football.

“When you look at the game, that tells the story,” Arians said. “When (the Texans) have 10 out of 16 third downs and six or less, and we have three or four, whatever it was, six or less, because they’re running the ball, and we’re not. You want to stay in manageable down and distances, whether penalties or whatever, we’ve got to play the game at better, manageable third downs.”

Adrian Peterson started the game with carries of six and then seven yards. But after that, the Cardinals could not grind out yards. He had 12 carries after that, for 16 yards. Up until his final carry — the infamous fourth-down try, where he lost a yard — his four carries before that had been 3, 4, 3 and 4 yards. (So perhaps there was some reason why Arians felt the Cards could get one.) Still, the Cards need more production.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell tweeted out this stat: The Cardinals are averaging only 3.01 yards a carry this season from their running backs, and only three teams since 2001 have averaged less than that (one of which was the 2005 Cardinals and their 2.98-yard average behind Marcel Shipp, J.J. Arrington and throwing to Fitz and Anquan Boldin every play.)

There is a lot that goes into this — David Johnson’s injury early and the loss for the majority of the season from run-blocking tackle D.J. Humphries, in particular. That Peterson averaged 5.2 and 4.3 yards a carry in his two big games — and had 63 total carries in those games — and the average is still low just highlights the issue.

It makes it tough to get manageable third downs. One thing that sticks out to me, however, was the comment by offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin a couple of weeks ago, saying from Peterson he only needs two yards and then two yards to get the offense to third-and-6. That would be something he could work with.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Searching for more yards each run”

  1. By Eric G on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    Unimaginative play calling is killing the run game. Watch, 3 te’s in, one wr? it’s s a run. WR goes in motion and stops behind the guard or tackle? It’s a run. 2 te’s in? 85% chance it’s a run. Combine that with 0 play action passes and you have no run game. It’s predictable. If Goodwin is calling the plays as BA suggested this week, he’s terrible.

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G —

    RE: Arians

    Arians is calling plays. As always.

  3. By Ken Moroney on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    Play calling:
    (1) Screen (2) Draw play (3) Naked keeper (4) Misdirection handoff
    (5) Pop pass to tight end. (6) comeback pass or button hook PAST the yardage we need for a first down (7) QB option ( to keep pitch or pass) (8) QB sneak with no other linemen moving (9) running outside tackle hole w/lead blocker (10 ANY FRIGGIN RUN PLAY EXCEPT UP THE TACLE GUARD HOLE!

    How about any of these play calls?

  4. By joe holst on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    I watched The Eagles and Falcons the last 2 days and the Cardinals and along, long ways to go, I saw d-lineman who can run a 4.5 chase down quarterbacks, WR;s make incredible catches, return men(Tyler Lockett) bang out 40 yard returns, Kickers nail FG;s. guys playing relentless on both sides of the ball, We have to start acquiring young talent especially at D-line, O-line, QB, WR, and need to somehow make Special teams special instead of pathetic. long, long ways from competing with these teams.

  5. By Corgon on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    Up in the middle isn’t the ultimate answer.

  6. By dobie on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    I with you Moroney Arians seems like he calls 5 plays if that

  7. By Dan Nicholson on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    I say missing Iupati, who is a very good run blocker but average pass blocking, & a pro bowl guard, plus Humphries now out is very big reasons run game struggles. I always try to remember that their is a reason both are starters & a backup is a plug in player. I feel like they are trying to protect Stanton & Gabbert , run to set up pass, but maybe they should pass to set up the run. Iupati is adept at pulling also and blowing defenders up and I have not seen it as much this year without him, and when have pulling guard not good. Let’s get a win Sunday and have some fun.

  8. By Patrick on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    We are also searching for:
    Receivers that catch the ball.
    A reason why they extended Gresham
    A consistent field goal kicker
    A future quarterback.
    3rd down defensive stops.
    A special teams coach.
    A different defensive scheme.
    A cb2.
    A honey badger pre injury.
    Interior defensive lineman that control the line of scrimmage.
    offensive lineman that control the line of scrimmage.
    More original offense.

    Did I miss anything?

  9. By gabe on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    We’re for getting the defense sucks they look old out run and the way the Texans ran the ball straight.then you have buchanon a LB covering a wide receiver.Honestly the honey badger is playing scare and fits went unseen in the 3 quarter the only receiver to catch a pass they don’t throw the ball.

  10. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    3rd-and-6 all game is OK with Goodwin?!?! What the heck?!?! By that rationale, AP would only be expected to get another 2 yards on third down which means the team has to try passing to get more than two yards on 3rd and 6 – totally predictable. He and the entire coaching staff needs to be canned.

  11. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 21, 2017 | Reply

    Patrick- Missed something? Yep…. New Coaching staff- Time for a house cleaning!!!!

  12. By Bob41 on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    You can’t run with the football unless you have blockers. It was that way the first football game ever played, and it’s that way in 2017. It’s not exactly Rocket Science!

  13. By Ken P on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    I think we have a CB2, if you have any complaints about the job that Williams is doing, you dont know football.

  14. By JTDG on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Dan Nicholson,

    True, Iupati and Humphries would help the line and their injuries have hurt.

    But you can’t say they are the reason the line is failing. Maybe they help with the run game, but we have seen the run game do well without both those guys too.

    Last year, when everyone was in the lineup, Palmer was sacked and had QB hits at an alarming rate. Most thought if the line was not improved, Palmer would not survive 2017.

    Unfortunately, nothing was done till the last week of preseason (picking up Boone). Then we added a guy during the season who we let walk and was cut by his new team (Watford) . Seems to me like very poor planning.

    Even if Iupati and Humphries were there, Center, RG and RT were not playing well.

    Think about this, the most significant draft pick on the line, 2015 1st round pick of Humphries, is not an addition. But instead, a LT when you are paying Veldheer 10 million a year to be a LT. Who does that? Think if that pick was Guard Ali Marpet or center Mitch Morse, would the line have been better?

    Too many mistakes for me by Keim.

  15. By mitchaz on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    In a recent article, Dan Bickley said that there is “a growing sense that BA will return as head coach in 2018 without Amos Jones as STs coordinator (whose contract is up this year).”

    In my opinion, retaining Arians and the majority of his staff in 2018 is going to set the franchise backward another 2-3 years. It’s not just his abrasive, narcissistic style, his constant and bombastic finger pointing at the players—it’s his anachronistic, ultra predictable offense, his croneyism based mode of hiring (and playing favorite players) and his “f bomb em and hug em later” philosophy (which worked for his idol Bear Bryant in an era where that was the standard—now things are quite different, aren’t they?).

  16. By patrick on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Yes Ken P, let’s take cb off the list.
    Tramon Williams is a good cornerback.
    It took the 2nd half of game 6 (because of injury) to find that out.
    And a 34/35 year old cornerback on a one year prove it deal should be the answer for the future (see Marcus Cooper.)
    Glad we have CB2 solved now we can move on to other items on the list.

  17. By JTDG on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Ken P,


    Remember, Tramon Williams is 34 years old. Temporary fix.

  18. By Scott H on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Ken P –

    Williams is doing an admirable job at the CB2 position, better than I may have expected. But Williams is also 38 years old, so it ain’t like you found your guy going forward. Williams is most likely a one-year thing for this team. His age makes that a no-brainer.

    So, in terms of beyond Week 17 of this year…, we really DON’T have a CB2.

    I don’t have any complaints about the job Williams is doing. But a 38-year old CB isn’t solving any of our problems.

  19. By Scott H on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    In a way, I think it is good that the great Adrian Peterson hasn’t solved all of our running game problems. Because if it appeared that he HAD, it may have given the illusion that our O-line wasn’t really the problem, we just didn’t have a RB that was good enough to move the ball. Frankly, I would rather that it remain CLEAR that the O-line IS a problem and that major up-grades are needed. And they are needed at EVERY position on that line except for Humphries. I think. Truth is, we don’t even REALLY know if Humphries is a building block player because we haven’t seen enough of him to know. I mean, never mind ability – can we count on him to be healthy? This year wouldn’t seem to suggest that we can.

    Who knows if even DJ would have been effective behind this line?

  20. By JTDG on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Jermaine Gresham contract;

    He was signed at 4 years 28 million. His cap number will be 7.25 million in 2018, but cutting him would cost 9.25 of dead money.

    It would save you 2 million by keeping him so to speak.

    He can be released in 2019, saving 2,5 million in cap space, but would be 5.75 of dead money.

    Honey Badger contract;

    He was signed to a 5 year, 62 million dollar contract while recovering from an injury in 2015-16 off season.

    In 2018, his cap hit will be 14.1 million. with dead money of 9.3.

    Deone Buccannon

    In his final year of his contract in 2018, he will be paid/cap hit of 8.7 million

    Mike Iupati

    Signed a 5 year 40 million dollar contract. He has a cap hit of 9.7 million in 2018 and has a dead money hit of 3.75 million

    Jared Veldheer

    In 2018, he has a cap hit of 10.25 million and dead money of 3.25 million

    Robert Nkemdiche ,

    The 2016 1st round pick has a cap hit of 2.3 million but 4.5 million in dead money making it 2 million dollars cheaper to keep him in 2018.

    Carson Palmer

    In 2018, will be a cap hit of 20.6 million with 6.6 of dead money

    The 2018 cardinals, as it stands, have 13 million in cap space for 2018.

    2 starting Dlineman in Corey Peters and Frostee Rucker are FAs, Our starting CB2 in Williams is a FA, Our starting LG in Boone is a FA. Our 2 starting WRs in the Browns are FAs, our starting RG in Watford is a FA. Both back up QBs are FAs, not to mention several backups.

    Whether you wanted to upgrade, or resign these players, 13 million is not enough to go around. Still think Keim is great with the cap?

    Cutting Palmer, Iupati, Veldheer, and Bucannon would save 36 million in cap space but then you have no LG, RT, ILB or QB.

    Terrible job by Keim,

  21. By JTDG on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    For those wondering,

    If Larry plays in 2018, his cap hit is 16.85 million.

    If he retires, his cap hit would be 5.85 million, although their is a bonus of 1 million that may or may not count if he retires.

    To me, worth every penny. Just don’t know how the cards can put a team around him.

  22. By Scott H on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I don’t know that there is any way the Cardinals CAN put a good enough team around Fitz next year ( if he plays ). Just way too many needs for them to adequately address ( notice I didn’t say effectively ) in one off-season. And the recent track record ain’t exactly been the greatest, either, let’s be honest.

    I gotta be honest, I have to think Fitz is playing for some combination of love for the game, knowing he can still play at a high level, and to pursue some more statistical milestones. And I’m totally OK with that. I’d love to see him move into 2nd all-time behind Rice. One more season of good health and Fitz-like production might just do it. No one on the current roster is a threat to take away any of his stats, no matter how old he gets!

    I really don’t believe he is coming back expecting that the team can be a legit contender. Sad, but….just another year of watching Fitz play? I’m in.

  23. By Coach K on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply


    If Larry plays with that contract, we need a home run in this draft class.

    Blue chip offensive line needs to be first pick. A plug and play guy from day one.

    Quarterback to back up Gabbert in round two, or bundle picks and move back up into round one.

    Big, tall receiver with great hands in round three

    Defensive line must be addressed in round four

    After that, best available athletes in any position

    Finally, KICKER

  24. By clssylssy on Nov 22, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz- – –
    I think a lot of season ticket holders might wait to see how things shake out before renewing their tickets. It seems that UofP Stadium is no longer selling out all their games & if Fitz decides he isn’t going to return that could force some much needed changes. The press/media always talks last ke they know more than they really do.
    It almost seems that the Organization feels no obligation to the fans/current ticket holders, and have begun parting out our roster, moving up PS guys for an in season preseason tryouts.

  25. By Dan Nicholson on Nov 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG. The point I am trying to make is the inconsistent play is due to disrupted continuity, all 5 guys playing together and Iupati being a veteran presence with experience helps others make it thru when going gets tough. Perhaps Boehm is even better off at his natural position center, because guard position for him was not. I will say when Cards have had sustained o-lines in past the team won more often. I do understand where you are coming from, points well taken

  26. By Scott H on Nov 23, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, agreed – Steve Kein is doing a horrible job. And I’ve heard people defend him by saying he was responsible for the good years we had, too, so we should be grateful for the job he’s done.

    No, I don’t have to be grateful for ANY person I see as doing a poor job. Yeah, 2015 was great. But a GM who knows what he is doing, for real, has some sense of how to sustain that. Has he? No. Look at the decline that has now spanned 2016, 2017, and looks pretty certain to continue in 2018.

    Grateful for that? No. You must be kidding.

  27. By John s. on Nov 23, 2017 | Reply

    Try not being so predicable on the play calling for a start; and adapt better to what is not working. The seemingly stubborn coaching attempts to force the same plays over and over again, with a line just not up to it, is both frustrating for the team and fans as well.
    I’m not exactly sure what all is going on here the last couple years, but can’t help the feeling anymore it’s the coaching staff “over-all,” not the players or BA alone here; though he ultimately responsible I suppose. Maybe we/he should take a look back to a couple years ago to what was working, the excitement of what was coming next and all, and try to recapture some of that thinking…?

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: