Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 31-19. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Cardinals running back David Johnson vs the ENTIRE (yes, EVERYBODY) Saints defense
Johnson is the best running back the Saints will face this season. The second year back has at times been a one-man wrecking crew on an underachieving Cardinals offense.
Johnson is the NFL’s leader in all purpose yards with 1,830, including 1,085 on the ground and 745 receiving on 69 receptions — good for second on his team and 15 touchdowns.
The Saints much-improved run defense will have its hands full with Johnson, but will hopefully be up to the task with Cam Jordan, Nick Fairley, Sheldon Rankins and Dannell Ellerbe playing their best football of the season.
Having versatile linebacker Craig Robertson back in the lineup will be key for this defense as well. Robertson, the Saints leading tackler, missed last week’s loss to Tampa with injury but looks good to go in this one.
His replacement, last year’s 31st overall selection Stephone Anthony, played well in Robertson’s absence. The athletic Anthony has been a big disappointment in 2016 after showing promise as a rookie starter, so finishing the season strong will be a promising sign for the future of the Clemson product.
Containing Johnson by whatever means necessary will likely be the biggest challenge for coordinator Dennis Allen, whose defense has overcome many obstacles to become a surprisingly improved unit in the latter half of the 2016 season.