Chase Edmonds might be just what the Arizona Cardinals need to spark the running game
The Arizona Cardinals might have beat the Jets by 20 on Sunday, but there is still a lot to clean up on both sides of the ball. The offense put up 30 points for the first time this season, but there are still questions on whether or not that is due to improvement or simply facing a abysmal opponent.
One area on offense that Arizona excelled at last year was the running game. In only eight games Kenyan Drake provided a spark and went off for 643 yards and 8 touchdown. The Cardinals averaged over five yards per carry and turned into one of the most efficient rushing teams in 2019.
This year has seen a noticeable drop in Drake’s production. Through five games he has accumulated 314 yards on 85 attempts, an average of just 3.7 per carry. While he is still on pace for over 1,000 rushing yards, Drake’s drop-off has reverberated throughout the team and put the offense in harried positions forcing throws that should probably never have been made.
He may only have 95 rushing yards this season, but those came from only 19 attempts putting Edmond’s average at 5.0 yards per carry. He’s also proven to be Murray’s go-to receiving back catching 18 passes for 129 yards.
Edmonds provides something Drake does not
All that being said, Edmonds contribution is hard to quantify solely digging through stat lines and metrics. His 29-yard catch and run on Sunday against the New York Jets perfectly encapsulates what he provides for the Arizona Cardinals. He brings big play ability that Drake simply has not this season.
Drake is at his best when running downhill but has shown a concerning tendency to bounce around too long looking for a cutback and losing yardage. It seems someone got in his ear halfway through the bout against the Jets and he looked much different going back to his old smash mouth style.
That being said, there is no reason that Drake should have received 66 more attempts than Edmonds when #29 has consistently shown himself to be productive and capable of breaking off big plays at any time.
Should Drake be benched for Edmonds? Absolutely not. But, for the Cardinals offense to work most efficiently, especially over a very difficult upcoming stretch that includes the Cowboys, Seahawks (twice), and Bills, getting Edmonds more involved in the rushing and passing game could very well be the difference between a few more wins or a few more losses.