With what looks like a completely different team on offense, the Arizona Cardinals take their weapons overseas for a British battle against the rival Los Angeles Rams
Just when everyone was preparing to write off the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson comes in and seemingly saves the season after his debut. Single-handedly, he has changed the dynamic of the offense. Quite a first impression, to say the least, for the 32-year-old future Hall of Famer.
On the very first drive of the game, Peterson ran for 54 yards, 27 of which went for a touchdown. And just like that, all questions were answered as to whether or not the running back still had anything left to offer. He carried the ball 26 times for 134 yards and 2 TDs.
“That’s the type of impact I want to make with my teammates and fans,” Peterson said. An impact so large it might be mistaken for Sunset Crater.
But you can’t credit AP alone for the quick turnaround. With the returns of left tackle DJ Humphries and left guard Alex Boone, the front five had its best game of the season so far in 2017. That allowed the offense to find a good rhythm — one they haven’t seen very often this year. It also showed that a three-headed-over-30-monster of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson can still dominate in this league.
More from Raising Zona
- Arizona Cardinals: Could Eric Bieniemy come to the desert?
- Would Jonathan Gannon be a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals?
- Arizona Cardinals: Budda Baker right in his take regarding the next coach
- Arizona Cardinals: 3 reasons new coach should want to work with Murray
- Arizona Cardinals special teams could be completely revamped in 2023
The mere presence of a run game and solid protection allowed Carson Palmer to start a perfect game, completing his first 14 passes. The threat of an aggressive rushing attack opened up the play-action game, and Palmer took advantage. He finished the game connecting on 18-of-22 passes for 283 yards and 3 TDs.
And Fitz — well, he was Fitz. The ageless wonder caught ten passes for 138 yards and a TD. Establishing the run game only makes him more dangerous, especially on play-action passes. That was evident as his TD catch came off a hard bite from the defense on a play-action pass.
Football is the ultimate team sport — but when you have the right players in key spots, it opens up a myriad of opportunities. And with the arrival of Adrian Peterson, it’s quite possible the Cardinals can once again return to the high-octane offense they once had in 2015.
“I feel like the sky is the limit,” Peterson said of the offense. If his debut is just the start of that, it’ll be quite interesting to see what sort of numbers they put up the remainder of the season.
It continues, however, this Sunday across the pond. Albeit on an English soccer field, this will be no friendly match on the pitch. This will be a dog fight between two division teams that are not very fond of one another.
The Cardinals will need to shine like Knights in England against the Rams if they wish to keep their dreams alive of chasing the NFL’s crown jewel at the end of the season.