It has not been the season David Johnson wanted, or the one the Cardinals hoped Johnson would have. I mean, it started the way both wanted, with Johnson signing a big contract extension before the regular season, and Johnson got his money and the Cards locked down their star running back.
Since then, though, it's been up and down. Johnson has just one 100-yard game (137 against the Raiders) and his production is a far cry from his star turn in 2016 when he had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and threatened to become only the third player with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in one season. Much of that has to do with his use as a receiver, something talked about plenty -- Johnson has just 43 catches for 340 yards. He had eight catches Sunday against the Lions, but they went for only 12 net yards.
Running the ball, behind an offensive line in shambles and along with a passing game that doesn't frighten defenses, has been difficult. Only three times in 13 games has Johnson averaged better than four yards a carry. He has had at least 70 yards only three times.
But even with all that, Johnson has a chance to get to 1,000 yards rushing. He has 810 yards thus far, so he needs 190 to get there -- an average of 63.3 yards over the last three games. He has averaged 62.7 yards per game thus far this year.
This isn't to say Johnson will have had a great season if he gets to 1,000. In the end, 1,000 yards in 16 games is only an average of 62.5 a game -- nothing to celebrate. But it remains a benchmark in the NFL, and given this season, an impressive achievement. Oh, and frankly, it's rare around these parts. There have only been seven previous 1,000 yard years in the 30 seasons the Cardinals have been in Arizona before this one.