The starting running back has been a quiet contributor for the Arizona Cardinals offense during the first two weeks of 2020
Lost in the excitement of the Arizona Cardinals explosive offense over the past two weeks has been Kenyan Drake. While Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins have been hogging the headlines, the squad’s starting running back has remained relatively quiet. Gone are the thrilling plays that came so consistently out of Drake during the final eight games of 2019.
Part of the reason for Drake’s minimal involvement in the Cards offensive game plans thus far can be traced to the franchise’s superstar quarterback. Murray, whether by design or by his own doing, has made a concerted effort to run with the ball much more frequently this year. It’s apparent that someone within the organization has decided that Murray’s legs are a weapon that needs to be utilized.
So far, the theory has worked beautifully. During an opening-week win over the San Francisco 49ers, Murray carried the rock 13 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. This past Sunday, Arizona’s quick-footed signal-caller tallied eight carries for 67 yards and two scores on the ground.
Drake, on the other hand, has turned in a more workmanlike performance for the Cardinals. During the 49ers victory, the former Miami Dolphins draft pick rumbled for 60 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Against the Washington football team, Drake totaled 86 yards on the 20 rushing attempts he received from the Cards.
What Drake has accomplished so far in 2020 is a bit of a letdown from what he did for Arizona last fall. In eight contests in ’19, the 6’1, 211 pounder racked up 643 rushing yards and eight scores for the Redbirds. The club was impressed enough to sign Drake to a one-year tender offer this past offseason that paid the ball-carrier $8 million-plus for the current season.
The 26-year old veteran showed what he’s capable of during the Cardinals game-sealing, final drive versus Washington. Drake logged five carries on the scoring trek, racking up 34 of the 86 yards he accumulated on the ground during the 30-15 triumph. Not only did the drive lead to a field goal, but it also helped kill 6 minutes and 12 seconds off of the clock.
There are still 14 games remaining on the schedule, plenty of time for the Cards to get Drake more involved in the scoring attack. It’s scary, and also exciting, to think that head coach Kliff Kingsbury has even more firepower in the offensive arsenal. Perhaps Drake will be the next weapon unleashed by Arizona’s innovative young play caller.