The Arizona Cardinals are confident about tonight’s game versus The Dallas Cowboys since they watched the tape of the Denver Broncos’ win over the team from Texas last Sunday. They saw that Elliott could be stopped, but he has watched the tape too, and he will not allow another awful performance.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu said: “He’ll be ready to roll. We just got to bring our big-boy pads. Everybody has to tackle.”
According to the Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, it was evident why Broncos edged, after observing the film. The first reason is that Denver played smart football – they got the lead and held onto it. Their defense was outstanding forcing Prescott to pass, limiting running back Elliott. As we all know, the rushing game needs to be good in order for the passing game to work, so Prescott had difficulties as well. The other reason was linebacker Von Miller.
“If I could have Von Miller, I’d be happy,” Arians said. “He’s special. We’ve got a pretty good one, too, [in outside linebacker Chandler Jones], so, yeah. It’s a copycat league, but you can’t change what you do. They have some unique stuff that they run that you have to be very aware for. Hopefully, our matchups are pretty solid.”
Rumors were surrounding Ezekiel Elliott and his situation with the suspension. Namely, some believed that Elliott would not play against the Cardinals in Week 3, but the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided Friday not to hear arguments on the stay for at least next two weeks. Elliott’s suspension must be enforced sometime, but it could happen in the next season as well, which would be the best-case scenario.
The off-court issue with the Dallas running back was not a concern for Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher when he made a game plan that was developed no matter of suspension situation. We will see whether this plan will help stop or at least slow Elliott down.
The entire America will watch the Monday night game at the University of Phoenix Stadium, and there was one simple reason why the Cardinals didn’t focus on Elliott’s status. Dallas runs the ball, in the same manner, no matter who is on the field – Elliott, Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris or Rod Smith.
Unfortunately for Arizona, Dallas’ first running back will be out there, eager to show his strengths. Elliott had one bad game, and we can say that it’s “one of those nights.” Don’t forget that he is still one of the best running backs in the league and he is going to show it.
“He’s tough to stop anyways, but if and what he’s motivated by, I have no idea,” Arians said. “But he’s a handful.” The Cardinals have no illusions, and they see Elliott as a quick and powerful runner.
“I think he is a pads-down runner,” Bettcher said. “Whatever’s been said about the performance last week I watched on tape, I see a guy that carries the ball 20 times a game and averaged over 100 yards rushing a game [last season] and has a lot of talent who can burst on the second level, who can make guys on the second level miss. You got to wrap, you got to run, and we got to rally when we tackle the guy.”
This season, Elliott rushed 112 yards on 33 carries, with only 8 yards recorded in Week 2. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown, and according to ESPN Stats & Information, he set career lows in 10 different rushing categories last week.
Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker saw similarities between Ezekiel Elliott and running back Kerwynn Williams, Rucker’s teammate. He said: “They’re hard runners, but they’re small and you can’t really see them. When you got a big O-line like [Elliott] does, he’s really explosive, and he has all the traits to be a great back for many years to come.”
“I don’t have anything bad to say about the kid. I don’t really know him. I know from what you see on film, he has a lot of speed, he does turn the corner and hit the edge on you, he does run it between the tackles, which a lot of guys try to bounce it out, but he’s trying to keep it in there, and it fits what they do well,” concluded Rucker.