Last week, the Arizona Cardinals tried passing their way into a win, and they found themselves down 37-8 until the Los Angeles Rams backed off. This week, they tried something different, running the ball often in a 24-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
To be fair, the Cards had little choice given the amount of rain pouring down onto the field for a while. But they ended the game with 149 rushing yards on 36 attempts, with running back James Conner pacing the team with 105 rushing yards on 25 carries, and two touchdowns.
They game planned to predominantly run the ball, and throw when necessary. And it worked, with Murray finishing the game a solid 13 for 23 for 145 yards, and a touchdown pass, good for an 89.9 quarterback rating.
Arizona Cardinals must keep melting down opposing defenses
For Week 14, the Cardinals will head into the bye week, but offensive coordinator Drew Petzing should have a sound idea of how he can help Murray move the offense efficiently for the final four games of the season. If the running game remains effective like it was today, then the Redbirds may have finally found an offensive identity, and that’s something they haven’t had for a while.
Another reason the Arizona Cardinals pulled off this massive upset in the Steel City? They played mistake-free football for the most part against a defense that often found ways to force opposing offenses into committing turnovers. That didn’t happen today, and rolling with the run-first, throw when necessary approach will minimize the risk of a turnover in the near future.
Overall, the Cards are yet another step closer to finding what works for them, but consistency is needed. We will see if Petzing will realize that, even with an offense with a pedestrian line and missing a big target like Michael Wilson, they can still thrive when in the correct situation.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)