One week completed and the proverbial ship has started to sink for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans. The season is far from over, and the team has many holes to patch up, the biggest being running back David Johnson. Johnson caught a pass from Carson Palmer in the first half that got him sandwiched by three Lions defenders and one of those hits breaking his right wrist. The worst news this team and its fans could have heard this early in the season. Now the team is not only scrambling to fill holes at running back but is also faced with filling holes on the offensive line, and wide receiver because of the unknown situation with John Brown’s health.
The running back position will be filled with Andre Ellington and Kerwin Williams and the resigning of veteran Chris Johnson going forward. This three-headed monster does not have to be spectacular; it just needs to be productive. It must mass together 100-yard rushing games amongst them and be able to catch the ball out of the backfield effectively to force defenses to game plan for them on a consistent basis. That is easier said than done, but a good showing against the hapless Indianapolis Colts this Sunday can be a good start.
The holes to fill are very much tied together, as the running game cannot be effective without the offensive line doing its job better than it did in week one versus the Lions. The O-line will need to start to gel and be consistent, but missing a main piece in D.J Humphries will make this more difficult.
It seems very obvious with D.J’s injury keeping him out for a few more weeks that the Cardinals may have to put Jared Valhdeer back to his original position at left tackle, and get newcomer Alex Boone up to speed quickly because this is the key to the entire seasons’ outcome.
Carson Palmer cannot be himself without this hole being filled. We have seen this story many times, as the pocket is comfortable Palmer is comfortable when it’s erratic than as you saw Sunday against the Lions Palmer is erratic.
Offensive lines are not a quick fix in the NFL like other positions may be, because it’s not an individual based position. It must be a cohesive collection of five players making one unit, and that usually takes time to develop amongst the five guys that are involved. Good teams are lead by good O-lines and d-lines, these are what makes your playoff teams every year, and the one with the best usually is involved with competing for the final trophy.
The Cardinals will find out what type of team they will be this season after the game has ended on Sunday morning against the dysfunctional Colts, and here is why. Because the Rams dismantled the Colts on both defense and offense, and Jared Goff looked like a real NFL quarterback. This was a product of how bad the Colts were more than the Rams being that good. But if the Cardinals even struggle or win by a little, or even lose to this team, then the Cardinals of 2017 are not good enough to face this David Johnson-less challenge that they are faced with and should start preparing for the draft.