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Football Outsiders: David Johnson should have huge year if healthy

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The Arizona Cardinals running back should be among the top backs in the NFL in 2018.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Every year SB Nation is fortunate enough to do a question and answer session with the fine folks over at Football Outsiders.

They are the original analytics site, that takes a deeper look at the game of football from a number of angles.

Well, this year for the Cardinals much is changing, new head coach, new coaching staff, new quarterback, new offensive and defensive schemes.

That gave us plenty to talk about with FO.

Over the next five days we will look at questions with:

Mike McCoy and Sam Bradford?

David Johnson’s expectations?

Offensive line improvements?

Does the new defensive scheme help or hurt Chandler Jones?

How will the new zone schemes work with the Cardinals?

Today, it is a look at David Johnson.


If healthy, will David Johnson have an opportunity to put up similar numbers to what he did in 2016 in the new offense?

In short, yes. Mike McCoy is implementing a more conservative style of offense compared to Bruce Arians’ offensive philosophy, and that should mean a heavy dose of running the ball with one of the best backs in the league.

Even with Arians at the helm leading an aggressive downfield attack, Johnson still had plenty of opportunities, which led to him racking up 2,118 yards from scrimmage. As long as he’s healthy, Johnson will have every chance to put up some serious numbers this season.

Part of it will depend on whether Arizona is in enough competitive games where they don’t need to throw to catch up, as running backs normally don’t get as many carries in those situations. However, Johnson is a major threat in the passing game, so that might not even matter that much. Barring another serious injury, he’ll get his.


We asked the question before, but what do you expect this season from David Johnson?