Cardinals Odds: Will Adrian Peterson’s Success Continue with Arizona?

adrian-peterson-cardinalsAdrian Peterson was hoping for a rebound season after tearing his lateral meniscus with the Minnesota Vikings last season.

This certainly didn’t happen with the New Orleans Saints, who recently traded Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional draft pick. But after a huge game with the Cardinals, Pearson is looking like a new player.

The 32-year-old running back promised that he had “so much left” in the tank following the trade to Arizona. And he proved it in his first game with the Cardinals, rushing 26 times for 134 yards (5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Compare this to what he did through his first four games with the Saints, rushing for just 81 yards on 27 carries (3.0 YPC).

Peterson’s performance was not only important for himself, but it was also a key reason why Arizona beat Tampa Bay 38-33.

“I feel good. This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Once I got that call on Tuesday, I was rejuvenated,” he told the media.

Peterson wasn’t the only old-timer who had a big game. Larry Fitzgerald also came through with 138 receiving yards and a touchdown. It’s no wonder why Coach Bruce Arians called this a “great day for the old guys.”

Arizona is a surprising 3-3 after losing star running back David Johnson for the season with a dislocated wrist. Can Peterson help the Cardinals keep forgetting about Johnson’s injury and help the team keep winning? Let’s find out while discussing whether we’re truly seen a rejuvenated Peterson along with how he affects Arizona’s betting odds to moving forward.

Peterson is Not a Normal Player

adrian-peterson-arizonaIt’s hard knowing whether Peterson is really going to be a 100-plus-yard rusher week in and week out. But we can’t rule anything out because AP isn’t a normal player.

He proved this in the 2012 season after coming off a late-season ACL/MCL tear the year before. This is an injury that normally takes 12 months to heal from. However, Peterson returned in around eight months and rushed for an astonishing 2,047 yards.

Not only was he coming off a brutal injury months before any average athlete could. But he also became one of just seven NFL players to eclipse 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

Here we are again in 2017, wondering if Peterson’s elite skills have dried up, or if he indeed still has plenty left the tank.

Again, the contest against Tampa Bay suggests the latter. But it’s still important to be cautious in this regard because he only rushed for 72 yards on 37 carries before his injury last year.

More recently, he couldn’t find consistent carries in the crowded Saints backfield. Peterson gained just 81 yards on 27 carries through four games prior to the trade.

Caution aside, though, Peterson looked great on the field Sunday. Looking beyond the stats, he made the cuts, showed the vision, and flashed the elusiveness that has made him great for much of his career.

We don’t expect him to log 1,000 rushing yards over the rest of the season. After all, he did have the game flow working in his favor since the Cardinals were running out the clock. But then again, it’s hard to see anybody else on the Cardinals’ roster being able to get 134 rushing yards on 26 carries, especially against a decent defense.

Tiki Barber Likes what He Sees in Peterson

Sports Illustrated analyst and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber thinks that Peterson is in a really good situation in Arizona. In fact, he thinks that the 7-time Pro-Bowler will see as many carries as he can handle

bruce-arians-arizona“This was Bruce Arians saying ‘alright, we got a horse here, let’s just hand it off to him,'” said Barber. “Big touchdown run that he had … He gave it to them. 26 carries he had, for 134 yards.”

Barber was also quick to remind that Peterson could’ve added even more to the stat line.

“And let’s not forget, there was a 45-yarder that was called back. I mean, he could’ve had almost 200 yards in his debut with the Arizona Cardinals.”

Barber added, “I think he found an old-school-enough coach in Bruce Arians – and yeah he loves to throw the football downfield and his quarterbacks have low completion percentages because they like to throw it way, way down field – but the only way to compliment that is to hand it off.”

The one concern is that Arians probably won’t back off when using Peterson to the fullest.

“I’m mean, he’s going to use him up,” said Barber. “Bruce Arians is going to use him up. If he had any more desire to play a couple more years, forget that cause Bruce Arians is going to hand it to him early and often.”

What’s Next for Arizona and Peterson in Terms of Betting?

adrian-peterson-cardinals-debutThe Cardinals face the LA Rams next week, who’ve been allowing plenty to opposing running backs. Then they get a bye, before facing the San Francisco 49ers, who are equally as bad against backs.

That said, I expect to see Peterson running the ball well over the next few weeks. And while he may suffer a late-season regression, he’ll give Arizona value on the betting lines against bad run defenses.

I don’t see Arizona winning on the road against the Rams. However, they should have a good chance to win on the road against San Francisco. In either case, the Cardinals will be undervalued on the line against San Francisco and LA if Peterson keeps up this resurgence.

Cardinals Odds with David Johnson Injured for Multiple Weeks

david-johnson-injuryThe Arizona Cardinals’ 2017 season has started off as badly as anybody could’ve imagined. Not only did they lose 35-23 against the Detroit Lions, but star running back David Johnson suffered a serious wrist injury.

Pro Football Talk reports that the initial diagnosis is a dislocated wrist. If this injury is confirmed, Johnson will need surgery and would be put on injured reserve.

Any player on IR must miss a minimum of eight games.

T.J. Logan Has the Same Injury

Arizona also lost rookie running back T.J. Logan to a dislocated wrist earlier this season. Logan was put on IR and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks

Again, Johnson’s injury hasn’t been confirmed. But he’ll be looking at the same type of recovery time if he indeed has a dislocated wrist.

Who will Replace Johnson at Running Back?

david-johnson-cardinalsThe truth is that nobody can replace what David Johnson brings to the table. He rose from a third round pick two seasons ago to a fringe MVP candidate.

The 25-year-old is perhaps the best dual-threat running back in the league. He proved this by rushing for 1,293 yards on 293 carries (4.2 YPC), and adding another 879 receiving yards on 80 catches. Johnson also scored a combined 20 touchdowns through the ground and air.

He’s a big reason why last year’s team went 7-8-1 and avoided what could’ve been a dreadful season. A committee is expected to replace some of Johnson’s production.

kerwynn-williams-chiefsKerwynn Williams is slated for between the tackles running. The four-year veteran has 555 career rushing yards and a strong 5.4 YPC average. But he tallied just 10 rushing yards on 5 carries against the Lions.

Andre Ellington is a nice receiving back who’s been with Arizona for five seasons. He totaled over 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in both 2013 and 2014.

But he’s had a very limited role ever since Johnson’s emergence in 2015. He didn’t receive a carry against Detroit and had 3 receiving yards on two catches.

One more option includes bringing back Chris Johnson, who was cut in the summer. Here’s what Pro Football Focus writes:

“As for the potential vacancy at running back, [coach Bruce] Arians opened the door to the possibility of veteran Chris Johnson returning. He hasn’t been able to stay well enough to produce, but he’s developed some trust with the coaches there, and if Johnson’s out an extended amount of time, they’ll need all the known commodities they can find.”

A 10-year veteran, Johnson is far from the star running back who rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons in Tennessee.

But he had a solid year with Arizona in 2015, running for 814 yards on 196 carries (4.2 YPC). Johnson only played in four games last season, which is one reason why he got cut this summer.

Analysis of Arizona’s Performance vs. Detroit

Carson PalmerIt’s good to avoid overreacting to one game – especially the season opener. But the Cardinals didn’t look good on either side of the ball vs. the Lions.

They played really poorly on offense despite racking up 23 points.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was the biggest culprit, completing just 56.3% of his passes and throwing three interceptions. At 37 years old, there are plenty of questions on how effective Palmer can be if he continues starting.

He put the loss on himself in the post-game press conference.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job,” said Palmer. “I put that solely on myself. I’m disappointed in myself. I just felt like had I made a handful of throws, we would have been in a different position.”

It’ll be even tougher for the aging QB to make these throws if he doesn’t have Johnson helping on offense.

Prediction on Indianapolis Game Next Week

Palmer can’t wait to get on the field and face the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

“We will get past it. I will get past it,” Palmer said. “We’ve got another big road game playing in another environment similar to this next week [in Indianapolis].

“Sunday can’t come fast enough. We’ve got to get the work done, but at the same time, I can’t wait to get this taste out of my mouth and move past this.”

There’s good reason why he can’t wait to play the Colts – they’re terrible.

Indianapolis was blown out 46-9 by the Los Angeles Rams in LA. They’ll be returning home to face the Cardinals and could provide some resistance.

But Indy is currently without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who’s still healing from offseaon shoulder surgery. Luck is even more important to the Colts than Johnson is to the Cardinals.

Indianapolis will likely start Jacoby Brissett, who replaced the ineffective Scott Tolzien on Sunday. He looked solid with 2-of-3 passing and 51 yards. But that was in a blowout game with little meaning.

It’ll be interesting to see how Brissett fares against the Cardinals’ starting defensive unit.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts Odds

Even without Johnson, we still have Arizona as a big favorite over Indianapolis. Here’s a look at next week’s line on our GTBets sportsbook:

  • Arizona -7.5 (-106), -330 money line
  • Indianapolis +7.5 (-114), +265 money line
  • Over/Under 44 (-110)

The Cardinals may have a tough road ahead without Johnson. But my guess is that they can beat Indianapolis by more than eight points next week.

The Colts are going to be one of the worst teams in football until they can get Luck back onto the field. Their defense and running game aren’t great, and now their passing game is lacking too.