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The Gold Rush in Arizona

Take a good look at a signature play and the team’s rushing statistics this past season

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There are a number of superb plays on offense the Cardinals executed to near perfection this past season. This one in Week 18, in particular, felt particularly sweet:

Classic Drew Petzing 13 Personnel (1 RB 3 TEs)

  • Notice how all 3 TEs make key blocks on the play:
  • Quadruple down-blocks by #85 TE Trey McBride, #81 TE Travis Vokolek, LT #68 Kelvin Beachum, LG #65 Elijah Wilkinson to wall off the inside —-
  • Kick ass kick-out block on the edge by pulling #76 RG Will Hernandez —-
  • Perfect iso lead block on CB #27 Tariq Woolen by #84 TE Elijah Higgins —-
  • Notice how James Conner on the handoff take a counter step to give the OL and TEs the time to let the blocks develop and then he bursts through the hole on a clear path to the end zone. Perfect timing on Conner’s part.
  • Kudos to Kyler Murray for his perfect ball handling on the play and look at how, immediately after the handoff, he swifty turns his head to the right to looks back at #54 MLB Bobby Wagner to sell a potential bootleg or waggle to Wagner’s side. It freezes Wagner who now won’t be able to chase the play.
  • In addition, notice how #72 C Hjalte Froholdt seals off the middle vacated by Will Hernandez’s pull and #70 RT Paris Johnson Jr. seals off any threat of backside penetration from the edge and blitzer.
  • This is classic “hat on hat” smashmouth and “attention to detail” football, with all 11 players doing their jobs to near perfection.
  • Note: every player on the field on this play is under contract for next season, save for LG Elijah Wilkerson. After a rough start to the season and spending 4 weeks on the IR during the middle of the season with a neck injury, after Wilkinson’s return, he had by far, his 3 best games of the season.

A Cardinals’ Rushing Season to Behold:

  • Rushing Yards —- 2,365 —- #4 in NFL
  • Yards Per Carry —- 5.0 —- #2 in NFL
  • Rushing TDs —- 17 —- #10 in NFL
  • Rushes for 20+ Yards —- 23 —- #1 in NFL
  • Rushes for 40+ Yards —- 5 —- #2 in NFL
  • Rushes for 1st Downs —- 127 —- #6 in NFL
  • Rush 1st Down % —- 27.0% —- #5 in NFL
  • Rushing Fumbles —- 9 —- #4 fewest in NFL

This was an Arizona Gold Rush.

And, the best possible news is, it appears that the Cardinals are on the verge of discovering a mother lode.