In week three, the Arizona Cardinals played absolutely horrible on both offense and defense. To their credit, they were playing a very good Indianapolis Colts team who's offense has been one of the best for the past several years. Their defense has also been one of the best against the pass, in part because of their pass rush. In week five the Cardinals will face more of that with the Houston Texans coming to town, who have a very good offense and a pretty good pass rush. One of the players that will have to be watched and game planned around, is wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Andre Johnson is a product of the University of Miami where he was a standout wide receiver. Johnson was red shirted his first year, and did not get much playing time in his freshman season just catching three passes for 57 yards and one touchdown. His sophomore year is when he started to breakout, catching 37 passes for 682 yards that went for 10 touchdowns. That same season Johnson would help his team win the Rose Bowl, and would end up being Co-MVP with quarterback Ken Dorsey. In that game Johnson caught seven passes for 199 yards (28.4 ypc) and also had two touchdowns. In Johnson's final season, his junior year, he would have his best season catching 48 passes for 1038 yards (21.6 ypc) and 9 touchdowns. Johnson would leave Miami as one of their best receivers ever, ranking fifth in overall receiving yards (1,831) and tied for third with 20 touchdown catches.
After such a successful college career, Johnson was rewarded by being drafted with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Houston Texans. There wasn't much fall-off from his college career, as Johnson has been one of the best receivers in football, and has been considered by some to be the best in football right now. Over his seven year career he has had over 506 catches for 6715 yards (13.3 ypc) and 35 touchdowns. He has been one of the bright spots of a team that hasn't been all that successful in it's short history.
The Cardinals will have to worry about how Johnson can beat them. He can beat you with his size 6-3 225 pounds. He can beat you with his speed, 4.41 40-yard dash time. As a testament to his speed, he was a college track and field star where he won the 60 meter dash with a 6.83 time, and won the 100 meter dash with a 10.29 time. Johnson is the complete package when it comes to his position.
If the Arizona Cardinals want to win this game they will have to figure out their coverage problems and stop Johnson from scoring. That will be a daunting task considering the past two games, opposing team's top receivers burnt our defensive backs. Who ever lines up across from him, whether it's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Bryant McFadden, they'll have to be more physical and can't attempt to cheat to get a pick. They will have to play nearly perfect. Thoughts?