Arizona Cardinals: Running back grades vs Chiefs


The Arizona Cardinals running game gets off to a slow start in the preseason

In the Arizona Cardinals 34-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, not much can be said about their running game.  Part of that was the Cardinals trying to get a look at all four quarterbacks and part of that had to be game score.

It is preseason yes but you are still trying to evaluate, so the Cards were pressed into more passing situations than running on Saturday night.  They passed the ball 34 times while rushing 27 times.  Three of those runs were by Andre Ellington on the first drive and four others were scrambles by quarterback Logan Thomas.  Here are the grades for the running backs on Saturday night.

Andre Ellington

You couldn’t have asked for a better performance from Ellington than what you got in his one possession on Saturday night.  Ellington only ran the ball three times for three yards, but one of the runs was a two-yard touchdown and a lot of the reason for just three carries was because of his receiving.

Ellington caught a ball from quarterback Carson Palmer and ran down the field for 57-yards.  He almost scored a touchdown on the play but was caught from behind by Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker.  Coming off a season-ending sports hernia injury and an all-season foot injury, he looked good.

Ellington has been hampered by a hamstring injury over the first two weeks of camp, so his performance was impressive just based on that fact.  Hopefully this is a sign of more to come from Ellington and he can avoid further injury.  I give him an “A” for Saturday night.

Kerwynn Williams

You can see why Cardinals coaches like him.  He has good burst to the outside and can break tackles.  On Saturday night he only ran seven times for just 20 yards but you could see the potential there.  The blocking for him wasn’t all that great and that lead to the low 2.9 average yards-per-rush in the game.

Overall, he looked like a back who wants to have a job in Arizona after training camp though.  I liked the effort, so I give him a “B-“.

Paul Lasike

Lasike is one of those guys that works hard, you’ll hear his name called a few times in a positive light in the preseason.  However there may not be a spot for the rookie from BYU.  He is a guy that will be fighting guys like Marion Grice and Robert Hughes for spots.

He rushed twice for 10 yards on Saturday night, a 5-yard-per-carry-average.  That’s not much to complain about but still not enough of a sampling to thoroughly grade him.  However I will still grade him and I give him a “B” for what he was asked to do.

Stepfan Taylor

Taylor got into the game in the second half.  Now in his third season and after his contributions over the past two seasons, I thought maybe we’d see more of him and earlier in the game.  Either way, his numbers weren’t that impressive.  He had one carry for minus one-yard.  He also caught one pass for six yards.

Again, not enough of a sampling to understand if he is still a good fit for this team.  He has great hands but his rushing ability leaves a lot to be desired.  For Saturday night I will give him a “C-“.

Robert Hughes

He works hard, you have to give him that.  He is the only true fullback on the roster and his skills are a commodity.  However with the thought the Cardinals could use a tight end in his spot for when the Cards need those tough few yards, you wonder if there is a spot this year in Arizona for him?  He had nine carries for just 17 yards on Saturday night.

Hopefully we see much more of him over the next couple of weeks.  For now, he gets a “C-“.