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David Johnson Heavily Involved Against Seahawks

Cardinals' star running back sets season highs in rushing and receiving

RB David Johnson heads downfield after catching a screen pass.
RB David Johnson heads downfield after catching a screen pass.

The Cardinals' offense looked better in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Seahawks, and much of that had to do with Josh Rosen taking over at quarterback.

It also didn't hurt that David Johnson was fed the ball often. After three straight games in which he failed to surpass 16 touches, Johnson had 22 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown while adding three catches for 41 yards against Seattle.

"I definitely got into a rhythm," Johnson said. "That's how I like to play as well. I like to start out and get into a rhythm as the game goes, see what the defense is doing, see what they are giving me as far as holes, running and seeing what our guys are doing upfront."

Johnson's third touchdown of the season came as he lunged over the goal line from one yard out in the second quarter. His longest run was a 21-yard jaunt, and he had a 30-yard screen pass in the fourth quarter that set up a touchdown.

"Phenomenal player," coach Steve Wilks said. "Just makes things happen once he gets the ball in his hands. Just have to continue to move forward in that direction and really try to get our playmakers the ball."

Despite some highlights, Johnson's mind kept going back to a pair of errors. He fumbled in the first quarter, and felt like he made the wrong decision on a late third-and-6, where a first down would have given the Cardinals a great shot at the victory.

Johnson wanted to get a first down on the play, but if not, at least put the ball on the left hash for kicker Phil Dawson. Instead, he was stopped for no gain and made Dawson kick from closer to the right hash.

"I just ran the wrong way," Johnson said. "I was supposed to stay to the left, and we ran it to the left, and I made a wrong read."

The decision to run the ball on third-and-6 drew the ire of some Cardinals fans, but wide receiver Christian Kirk liked the idea of getting the ball to Johnson.

"We've got one of the best running backs in the league back there," Kirk said. "Putting it in David's hands, that's the best decision at that point."

Johnson didn't have a reception until the fourth quarter but caught three in quick succession as Rosen seemed to look for him more. It is a chemistry that figures to be pivotal for the future.

Johnson set season highs in both rushing and receiving in the contest, but for players that have been around him for a while, it's nothing new.

 "You don't score 34 touchdowns in 34 games for no reason," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "He's just that kind of a playmaker."