Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is proving that his “Air Raid” offense does not revolve strictly around the pass
Throughout the preseason, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury did his best to keep his “Air Raid” offense a mystery. There was a belief around the league that the scoring attack revolved heavily around the pass, and that the squad’s running backs would be used sparingly. Would talented Cardinal ball-carriers like David Johnson and Chase Edmonds find a home in Kingsbury’s gameplans?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes. In the five games that the Cards have played thus far, Kingsbury has used Johnson and Edmonds brilliantly. Both players are extremely versatile contributors, who can hurt opposing defenses in multiple ways.
The duo’s outstanding talents were on full display this past Sunday during Arizona’s 26-23 triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals. Johnson rushed 17 times for 91 yards, averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. The 27-year old also hauled in three passes for 65 yards on five targets during the contest.
Edmonds carried the rock eight times for 68 yards against Cincinnati, for a sparkling average of 8.5 yards per tote. The former Fordham University product contributed as a pass-receiver as well. Edmonds tallied three receptions for 18 yards on four targets during the matchup.
Both backs helped in delivering knockout blows to the Bengals. Johnson made a crucial 24-yard catch during the Cardinals game-winning field goal drive late in the fourth quarter. Edmonds raced 37 yards for a touchdown minutes before, a score that gave the club a 14-point lead with 7:13 to play.
Johnson has totaled 264 yards on the ground with one score during his five appearances thus far in 2019. The fifth-year pro has also caught 24 balls for 247 yards and another two touchdowns during the current campaign.
Edmonds has gained 127 yards on 19 carries, averaging a magnificent 6.6 yards per tote. The Cards 2018 fourth-round draft pick has also tallied six receptions for 43 yards on nine targets this year.
Kingsbury has put to rest any doubts about the running backs’ usage in his scheme. In fact, both runners appear to be excellent fits for what Arizona’s new play-caller wants to do. Look for Johnson and Edmonds to continue to be utilized heavily in Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense going forward.