Fresh off of a bye week, you’d expect to see some changes in the Cardinals offense. New offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich didn’t have the smoothest debut against the 49ers a couple weeks ago. The Cardinals didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. They were average in both yards per play and third downs, but average is a step in the right direction. Also, what’s important is that they scored when it mattered.
The Chiefs are an entire different animal offensively, though. Not just in comparison to the Cardinals, but essentially every NFL team that’s out there. Good play-callers still other ideas. It happens. You see it all the time. Whether it’s something dramatic like the “Philly special”, or as simple as adding a run that has a motion included with the run. Here are two aspects from the Chiefs offense that the Cardinals could easily add.
Throwing the ball to David Johnson is a step. Throwing the ball to Johnson while faking other action is the next step. It’s something the Chiefs are great at. They will use motion and fake it to a receiver, to get the defense flowing one way, all to throw the screen to Kareem Hunt on the other side of the field. This screen below against the Browns last week is a perfect example. Check this play out:
The Chiefs fake a toss right. Hunt makes a couple guys miss and the play looks a lot more extreme than it really is, but that’s what you want. The goal of drawing up plays like this is to get your best players in 1-on-1 situations in the open field. Get the defense flowing one way to get numbers advantage another way.
Play-action, play-action, play-action
One of the biggest myths in football is that you need to have a successful running game in order to have a successful play-action game. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The Cardinals are averaging just under nine yards per play-action play, which would be good for 10th in the league. The problem is, they only run play-action 19% of the time. That’s 24th in the league.
On the contrary, the Chiefs run play-action 27% of the time. They average a full yard more per play on play-action, but it’s really simple stuff, like fake it to Hunt, and throw a quick pass to Hill. The Cardinals can easily do that. All this will do is create more throwing windows for Josh Rosen. It’ll also get him and keep him in rhythm. After the bye I’m looking to see plenty of play-action drawn up.