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Rushing Game Has Shined, But Cardinals Can't Pass On Throwing

Yes, Chase Edmonds likes getting a bunch of carries. He's made that clear. But in discussing his role this week, he did bring up the passing game.

"Whatever it takes to win," Edmonds said. "We'll see how the gameplan plays out. Kyler Murray is going to throw the ball more than four times in the second half -- I hope so at least."

Murray's stunningly low four pass attempts in the final 30 minutes against the Giants was easily explained. The rain came down hard, and the Cards had the lead. Coach Kliff Kingsbury got conservative, understandably. But as the Cardinals begin this next stretch of games, running the ball figures to get more difficult.

In the next four weeks, the Cardinals play the Saints (ninth in rushing defense) as well as twice going against the 49ers (seventh in rushing defense) and Todd Bowles' Buccaneers (first in rushing defense.) Edmonds has played well, and David Johnson should be healthy from his ankle sooner rather than later and the Cardinals have proven they can run, just outside of the top 10 after starting the year slowly in that regard.

Murray will be under the spotlight. The Cardinals have shown they can throw too -- Murray was magnificent two games ago against the Falcons -- but it would help to get Christian Kirk back on the field. If Kirk and Johnson are unavailable Sunday, that would remove two of Murray's best receiving options. As good as Edmonds is carrying the ball, and while he can catch, he is not the receiver Johnson is out of the backfield.

Balance is crucial. "When you can run the ball, it opens up the pass game," Murray said. "I think that we've run the ball pretty successfully the last three or four weeks, and I think that's why we've had success." The Cards can't turn away from what they've morphed to. But attacking through the air will grow in importance over the second half of the season. In the NFL in 2019, you must throw to win.

QB Kyler Murray looks to throw a pass against Giants in 2019

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