When things go wrong, it tends to be from every angle.
Yet, for the Arizona Cardinals, there was a lot of good that came from individuals on the season, and no more good came from the Arizona Cardinals than from David Johnson on offense and Calais Campbell on defense.
They were the MVP’s of each side of the ball and Pro Football Focus, in their first installment of the 101 best players in the 2016 season.
From Pro Football Focus on David Johnson:
23. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (unranked)
David Johnson was the only player in the league to top 2,000 yards from scrimmage this season, adding 879 receiving yards to go along with his 1,243 rushing yards. Johnson caught 80 passes as a receiver this season, and they weren’t mere extensions of the same kinds of passes any other running back catches. Johnson’s versatility in that area is so impressive that the Cardinals would split him out as a receiver and expect him to run legitimate WR routes — and win, which he routinely did. Few players are better at making people miss in space, and Johnson forced six more missed tackles as a receiver than any other back
Best performance: Week 3 vs. Bills, 81.6 grade
Key stat: Johnson notched 2,122 yards from scrimmage over the season, the only player to break 2,000 yards.
Johnson was the second best running back on the season according to Pro Football Focus, behind only Ezekiel Elliot, and I think you can make an argument that he was better than Elliot, but we are talking one spot, so semantics.
As for Calais Campbell, Pro Football Focus had this to say:
24. Calais Campbell, DI, Arizona Cardinals (unranked)
Calais Campbell’s career has been spent in the shadow of players like J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald as an interior threat, but this season, he took a significant step towards their level with the best year of his career. Campbell’s overall grade of 90.4 represents the first time he has broken the 90.0-barrier in his career, and if anything, he ended the season stronger than he began it, with six sacks in his last five games, tweeting during PFF’s awards week that he was coming for that No. 1 spot from Aaron Donald. Who are we to argue?
Mad respect for @AaronDonald97 but next year I'm coming for that # 1 spot https://t.co/Ocp855nHVJ— Calais Campbell (@Campbell93) January 3, 2017
What a season for two of the best in the NFL.