The Arizona Cardinals ran 65 offensive plays on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. How did they do it?
I finished charting the formations Tuesday evening.
Of their 65 plays, Carson Palmer was in the shotgun 23 times. He had an empty backfield 12 times.
They ran play action only five times. I have seen very little play action this season.
The most common grouping the Cardinals ran was "11" personnel, with one back, one tight end and three receivers. They ran 22 plays with this personnel, passing 11 times and rushing 11 times. That's balance!
The next most common was "12" personnel -- one back, two wideouts and two tight ends. They rushed out of that grouping nine times and passed five.
After that, they used a lot of formations.
On seven plays, they went with no running back, four receivers and one tight end, six of them on third down. They passed on every play, as it would seem logical, since there was no running back in the game. They started rough from that formation. The first pass was the pick-six on third down. Then there was a third down incompletion. Then there was an incomplete pass on a first down. The next plays went touchdown, first down, touchdown and first down.
On six plays, they lined up with "10" personnel -- one back and four wideouts. They rushed once and passed five times.
They went "22" -- two backs, two tight ends, one receiver -- on five plays, rushing twice and passing three times.
Three times they were in "21" -- two backs, one tight end and two wideouts. They ran twice and passed once.
They also went "23" -- two backs, three tight ends and no receivers -- three times. They rushed twice and passed once -- the touchdown throw at the goalline to Andre Ellington.
Twice they were in their clock formation to end the game with kneeldowns. Twice they lined up in "zero" personnel, where they had five receivers. Yes, they passed both times.
For one play, they were in "13" personnel -- one back, three tight ends and one wideout. They passed on that one play.