When you lose 34-20 and just about everything goes wrong, there are few bright spots to pick out. The Arizona Cardinals defense looked horrendous once again this week, and they have now allowed 69 points over the previous eight days, which averages to 34.5 points over the last two games.
Dante Stills was the only real bright spot on the unit, so he earned the MVP award on the D for his performance with six tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, and two stops behind the line. Stills was impressive, and he likely would have won the overall MVP award for the game had it not been for the Redbirds dynamic running game.
Arizona Cardinals running game shows up in Week 5 loss to Cincinnati Bengals
The Cards have got to give Rondale Moore the ball more often, as he carved up the Bengals defense with 50 rushing yards on three carries. Sure, he’s as pedestrian as they come as a receiver in the NFL, but Moore now has 116 rushing yards on eight attempts, good for 14.5 yards per carry. If Conner misses time, a change-of-pace is more than necessary, and Moore has shown over the first five weeks he can be that guy.
I knew there was something I liked about Emari Demercado when the Cardinals picked him up as an undrafted free agent. While he was just okay running the ball in the preseason, Demercado racked up 45 yards on 10 carries, with a long of 11 yards.
Even without James Conner, the running game once again showed it could be the Arizona Cardinals most effective piece. And they need to use the ground game even more if they’d like to win a few more times in 2023. Hopefully, we get good news on Conner, but if not, we can be assured that the Cards running game will continue to thrive.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference and ESPN.com)