The lack of balance on offense was surprising to see against the 49ers on Sunday. The Cardinals only ran the ball 23 times on Sunday.
Of those 23, 19 were from running back David Johnson. He only gained 55 yards on the ground. He failed to gain 100-yards, something the 49ers had given up to eight-consecutive opposing running backs, including 157 to Johnson on October 6th.
The Cardinals threw the ball 49 times. While that in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be viewed as puzzling given the Cardinals never trailed in this game.
Usually teams that throw 49 times are doing so out of necessity. While coach Bruce Arians blamed the 49ers stacking the box, there seemed to be more at work.
With as much complaining there has been about the lack of big plays by the Cardinals in the passing game this season, it appeared the Cardinals wanted to try and exploit the 49ers secondary.
For the most part, it didn’t work when it needed to. The Cardinals also didn’t seem to adjust to that and run the ball more. The offensive line also needs to block better. While they did a better job of pass protection, the line failed to give Johnson holes to run through.