Arizona Cardinals Find Balance On Offense
By Scott Allen
A rarity in Arizona, the Cardinals found balance in their offensive attack against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday
When was the last time the Arizona Cardinals ran the ball more than they threw it? You’d have to go look it up, wouldn’t you? On Sunday, the Cards found a balance on offense in their 24-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
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The Cards ran the ball 37 times. Normally, 37 carries wouldn’t jump out at you given the weapons the Cards have in the offensive backfield. However the Cards threw the ball 31 times, six fewer times than they ran it. So, even though they ran more they still kept a balance. It also led to longer offensive drives.
Two of the Cards scoring drives went at least 80 yards. Running back Andre Ellington ran the ball 24 times for 88 yards. His backup Stepfan Taylor had 12 carries for 40 yards. The only other rusher was receiver Jaron Brown whose one carry lost five yards.
Ellington also caught the most passes. He had six receptions for 72 yards. Ellington was targeted nine times. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald had four receptions. Receiver Michael Floyd had three receptions.
Sunday was all about ball control. The offense did turn the ball over once but that was on a tipped pass late in the first-half when the Cards were trying to hurry to get another score. With Palmer still on the mend and trying to get Ellington more touches the Cards played it safe most of the day. The balanced attack also seemed to keep the Raiders defense guessing a lot as well.
This may not be the blueprint for success going forward because you have to tailor your offensive game plan to your opponent and the situation but it was nice to see for a change. Whatever it takes to get the win.