NFL Wire News

Cardinals improving with their running game

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TEMPE, Ariz. — The Cardinals have rushed for at least 115 yards in three consecutive games. They have done that just four other times since moving to Arizona in 1988.

“It’s a start,” center Lyle Sendlein said. “When I got here (in the summer), it was pretty apparent we were going to commit to getting yardage in the run game. We’re glad to have that kind of start.”

The Cardinals made improving their rushing attack a priority in the offseason, both in terms of practice time and upgrading personnel.

“We are better up front, much better at tight end, and our receivers are blocking extremely well,” head coach Bruce Arians said. “They take great pride in it and they know backs are picking up blitzing linebackers when we are throwing to them, so they need to pick up those guys when we are running the football. Especially Larry (Fitzgerald) has done a great job.”

–The Cardinals played at home last week, yet their offensive line struggled with crowd noise. Both tackles gave up sacks when it appeared defensive ends beat them off the line.

Arians blamed it on the number of 49ers fans at the game. “We had to switch to a silent count because of it,” he said.

–The Cardinals have scored 17 touchdowns, a franchise record for the first three games of the season. That’s tied with the 1966 Cowboys for the third-highest total in NFL history this early in a season.

–The Cardinals are the only team in the NFL that has not trailed this season. Last year’s team that went 11-5 trailed at some point in 14 of 16 games.

Notes: Running back Andre Ellington (knee) practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday. Arians said it’s 50-50 if Ellington will play on Sunday. If Ellington doesn’t practice full this week, look for him to miss a third consecutive game. … Running back David Johnson will see his role gradually increase as long as he stays healthy. The rookie is an exceptional receiver, and the Cardinals occasionally split him wide. … Wide receiver Michael Floyd looks close to 100 percent recovered from three dislocated fingers suffered in training camp. Floyd is catching the ball better and is getting more snaps in games. … Quarterback Carson Palmer has won his last nine starts, one shy of tying the franchise record set by Ray Mallouf in 1948. The Cardinals are 16-2 in Palmer’s last 18 starts. … Guard Mike Iupati (knee) remained limited in practice this week. Most likely, he will have to be a full participant in practice before he makes his season debut.


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