Chris Johnson not spectacular but gets job done for Cardinals


Chris Johnson fumbles twice in 34-20 Arizona Cardinals victory over the Cleveland Browns

All this week there had been rumors that Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim had reached out to running back Chris Johnson’s agent to start discussions on a possible contract extension.  On Sunday, Johnson went out and fumbled twice against the Cleveland Browns.

I don’t know how Johnson’s performance will affect those discussions going forward.  I do know that no deal was going to be imminent anyway.

Johnson fumbled on the Cardinals second offensive drive of the game.  The Cardinals held a 7-0 lead at the time.  To add fuel to the fire, former Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby was the one who caused the fumble.  Linebacker Armonty Bryant returned the fumble 34-yards to the Arizona nine-yard line.  The Browns punched the ball in the end zone three plays later.

With the Cardinals leading 24-20 in the second half, Johnson fumbled again.  This time it was at the Arizona 25-yard line and put the Browns right outside the red zone.  However the Cardinals were able to get the ball back a couple of plays later thanks to cornerback Rashad Johnson intercepting Browns quarterback Josh McCown in the end zone.

The confidence in Johnson though did not wane.  He carried the ball 30 times in all for a total of 109 yards on Sunday.

I don’t think the Cardinals will stop any discussions with Johnson’s agent over a couple of fumbles though.  He’s already done so much for this Cardinals running game, it is hard to ignore.

He did not get in the end zone on Sunday but he came close.  When he fell short of the end zone in the third quarter, the Cardinals finished off their drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Troy Niklas.

Johnson has clearly become the number one back for the Cardinals.  Andre Ellington only carried the ball three times for no gain.  David Johnson carried the ball just once and Palmer had three rushes.  At this point there is no need to stop this train despite the two hiccups.