Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds on the Rise
Chase Edmonds’ abilities were on full display during the Cardinals’ week five showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals and this may be the beginning of a much-needed breakout from the second year running back.
All season we’ve seen bits and pieces of what Edmonds can do on the offensive end of the field after having been more of a special team player. Through the first four weeks of the season he had 11 rushing attempts and week five saw him get 8 in just one game. He made use of those limited touches with 68 yards rushing and one touchdown. What is more important about Edmonds though is how dynamic this offense can be with him on the field alongside David Johnson.
Cardinals fans have seen this type of breakout before with David Johnson himself a few seasons ago. While Edmonds didn’t burst onto the scene as enigmatically as Johnson did, he has shown his ability to be a game changer like Johnson. His play has been energizing to see, especially from a team that has struggled so far this season to gain yards on the ground. This may be the right moment to fully integrate him into this offense.
“We’re better when he’s on the field and when David’s on the field,” Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said during a media session. “We’ve been able to develop more of a role for him and that should continue.”
Edmonds played 35% of the offensive snaps for the Cardinals against the Bengals and we should see that number increase especially if Johnson’s back injury is limiting him against Atlanta.
Not only does Edmonds add an offensive weapon for the Cardinals to implement into the system, he has shown to be of great value as a blocker; this is something the Cardinals need desperately as the offensive line has struggled to keep a clean pocket for Kyler Murray all season. With Edmonds on the field, Kingsbury can still stay somewhat true to his signature Air Raid offense and secure some extra protection for his quarterback.
Having both running backs on the field at the same time also allows the Cardinals to bring in a tight end to help up front and deploy Johnson as a receiver or keep them both alongside Murray for some misdirection. During Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals 72% (51 plays) of the offensive snaps had a tight end in the game and 21 of those had two tight ends, a big change from the 10 personnel we’ve been seeing all season.
Adding the second year running back into the mix offers up a lot of offensive versatility for the Cardinals and adds another threat to the field. The Air Raid offense so far this season has not been able to win any games, but it seems as though the run game is key to opening up this offense. The trio of Murray, Johnson, Edmonds, and the threat they pose on the ground may ironically be the secret to unleashing the passing offense.
So far Chase Edmonds’ work has paid off and forced the Cardinals to use him in some way, and that may be just what this team needs to get back on track for the rest of the season.