Boasting one of the better rushing defenses, the Seattle Seahawks, on paper, looked like they would overwhelm Arizona Cardinals rookie running back Emari Demercado last week. But Demercado churned out his best performance of the year, notching a season-high 15 rushing attempts for 58 yards, and four receptions.
Considering the Seahawks allowed just 3.2 yards per carry heading into the game, Demercado once again showed off why he deserved to have been drafted. This week, he has an even bigger opportunity to augment those numbers, as the Baltimore Ravens 14th-ranked rushing defense are nowhere near the caliber that was Seattle’s (ranked second).
While Baltimore has only given up two rushing touchdowns, they are also allowing an average of 4.2 yards per carry and 95.7 yards per game. Compare that to Seattle, who after Demercado’s performance, is now allowing 3.5 yards per carry and 87.1 yards per contest.
Arizona Cardinals rookie running back could have a breakout game
Here is a breakdown of Demercado since he was thrust into action in Week 5 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals: 25 carries, 114 yards, 4.56 yards per carry, and one rushing touchdown. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Demercado has accomplished all of this despite struggling through a rough first few games of his pro career when he gained just three rushing yards on four carries.
If the offensive line can hold, and if Demercado can hit the holes hard like he did last week, then there is a good chance he has his best game yet. Sure, the Arizona Cardinals will be forced to throw the ball more often since the Ravens offense put on a clinic last week against the Detroit Lions and could easily take advantage of a weak Redbirds defense. But Demercado should still get more than his fair share of touches in this contest.
However, if Demercado can set the tone on the ground early, and he’s given every indication that he can, then perhaps the Cards could resort to playing more ball control this week. That said, Demercado can be indirectly responsible for keeping the ball out of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s hands.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)