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D.J. Humphries: Pretty-Boy Football Critics Now 'Quiet'

Cardinals rushing attack has proven doubters wrong

LT D.J. Humphries has helped coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense succeed in 2019.
LT D.J. Humphries has helped coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense succeed in 2019.

It's been more than four months since Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner referred to Kliff Kingsbury’s offense as pretty-boy football.

D.J. Humphries hasn't forgotten.

As the regular season comes to a close, the Cardinals' left tackle wants to do a tale of the tape, comparing the team's rushing attack to the rushing offense and defense of Oakland.

"They play old-man, tough football, and we're playing pretty-boy football," Humphries said. "I would really like to see that, now that we're at the end of the season. That would be very interesting to see, because a lot of people had a lot of (expletive) to say. But we go out there and run the ball down their (expletive) throat, and now everybody's quiet."

The Cardinals' run game has been supremely effective this season, as its 5.06 yards-per-carry average is easily on pace to set a franchise record. The Cardinals are rated as the second-most efficient rushing team in the NFL this season, per Football Outsiders, behind only the Ravens.

Conversely, the Raiders have the 20th-ranked rushing attack by Football Outsiders, and are 24th at stopping the run.

Former NFL coach and ESPN commentator Rex Ryan was also an early critic of Kingsbury's offense, calling it "basketball on grass" and forecasting it would get "whipped Week 1."

Guard Justin Pugh said repeatedly before the season that the deception within the running game didn't change the base responsibilities for the blockers. Fifteen games later, it's hard to argue with the results.

"Like I said in the summer, we're running the same runs, we're doing the same things (as traditional offenses)," Pugh said. "So those guys are wrong."