Cardinals running backs are complementing each other well this season

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Chase Edmonds
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Chase Edmonds /

Chase Edmonds and James Conner are giving the Arizona Cardinals offense the best of both worlds at the running back position

Over the past four weeks, the Arizona Cardinals passing attack has been grabbing the headlines. That’s not entirely surprising, given the fact that MVP candidate Kyler Murray and the squad’s talented group of pass-catchers have had their way with every defense they’ve faced.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle, however, has been the outstanding play of the Cards two-headed rushing attack. This past Sunday, Arizona’s talented running backs were on full display during the team’s 37-20 dismantling of the Los Angeles Rams.

Chase Edmonds and James Conner combined for 170 yards and two touchdowns on the ground during last weekend’s impressive victory. While Murray and his targets in the passing game certainly did their part, it was the Cardinals‘ rushing duo that really took the heart out of the Rams defensive unit.

Arizona Cardinals possess two uniquely different backs that gel well together

Earlier this year, the Cards front office had a difficult decision to make at the running back position. Kenyan Drake, a free agent who was the club’s leading rusher in each of the last two seasons, was not offered a new contract. Arizona general manager Steve Keim went out and signed Conner for just $1.75 million, and the acquisition could turn out to be one of the biggest bargains of the offseason.

The 5’9, 205 pound Edmonds and the 6’1, 233 pound Conner complement each other extremely well. Edmonds is the speedster with breakaway ability who is also an excellent pass-receiver. Conner is the battering ram who can easily convert the crucial short-yardage situations that were a major issue for the Cardinals in years past.

Edmonds rushed for 120 yards on just 12 carries versus Los Angeles, and also added four receptions for 19 yards. The 2018 fourth-round draft pick’s 54-yard jaunt during the final quarter of the Cards’ triumph essentially broke the backs of a beaten group of Rams defenders.

Conner has morphed into the role of Arizona’s goal-line back over the past couple of weeks. The former Pittsburgh Steelers draft selection scored from one and four yards out during the Redbirds’ week-three win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and notched two one-yard touchdowns against Los Angeles.

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The pairing of Edmonds and Conner is an offensive playcaller’s dream. Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is like a kid in a candy store with the plethora of weapons he’s been given by management. The Cards passing attack is among the best in the NFL, but the unique combination of Edmonds and Conner have made the franchise’s running game a force to be reckoned with as well.