Arizona Cardinals Running Game Needs To Step Up


Nov 17, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) scores a 5 yard touchdown during the first half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

After a couple of weeks where it appeared the Arizona Cardinals running game was coming to life, especially three weeks ago when Andre Ellington ran for 154 yards against the Atlanta Falcons, things were looking up.  The Cards were winning a game the way many good NFL teams do, with balance.

Not that I am not excited that the Cards put it to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the air, with quarterback Carson Palmer amassing 419 yards, becoming the first Arizona Cardinals quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game and win since Boomer Esiason back in 1996.  However I know the Cards are only fooling themselves and their fans if they believe they can keep winning like that.  They can’t.  Eventually the offensive line needs to create holes and the backs need to make moves.

Rashard Mendenhall is starting to look a lot like Beanie Wells.  Yes, I believe Mendenhall plays harder but he still produces similar results.  He runs right into a crowd at the line and falls to the ground.  The Cards as a team rushed for less than a yard per carry Sunday.  Against the Jags.  Unacceptable.

It would help if coach Bruce Arians could make a decision on what to do.  Ellington needs to play more and so does Stepfan Taylor, who once again, went missing this week.  Consistency.  The Cards need consistency.  They don’t need to rush for over 200 like they did against the Falcons, although it helps, however 14 yards rushing as a team won’t get them far.  They will need all the weapons they can get to even just get a wild-card spot much less actually win a playoff game.