- Drake recorded a new season-high 110 rushing yards in his first game with the Arizona Cardinals.
- The Cardinals have a 3-5-1 record on the season.
- Drake was acquired by the Cardinals on Monday.
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals lost to the San Francisco 49ers 28-25 Thursday Night. The game was a lot closer than expected, as sportsbooks favored the 49ers to win this game by 10.5-points. That wasn’t the case and one of the biggest reasons that the game was so close was because of the Cardinals newest addition -running back Kenyan Drake.
Just 72 hours ago, Drake was a member of the winless Miami Dolphins and had a season-high of 44 rushing yards. The Cardinals only sent the Dolphins a conditional sixth-round pick for the fourth-year back out of Alabama, as the Dolphins continue their quest to accumulate NFL Draft capital. In what has been a quick turnaround for the Alabama product, the Cardinals started Drake at running back Thursday Night because of injuries to running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds.
In his Arizona Cardinals debut, Drake was the lone bright spot for the team as he rushed for 110 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown while adding in four catches for 52 yards. In what was one of the most impressive debuts in NFL history, the sixth-round price tag for Drake now seems like a steal. The Cardinals were able to consistently move the ball against one of the best defenses in the NFL because of Drake’s versatility as a runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Getting traded to Arizona could be just the rejuvenation Drake needs to get his career back, as he is set to be a free agent at the end of this season.
The Cardinals learned a lot about the kind of team they had in this matchup against an undefeated NFC West opponent that has had one of the best defenses in the NFL this season. With this being the Cardinals first year under head coach Kliff Kingsbury they’ve already matched their win total from last year. Adding Drake into the Cardinals running back rotation that already features running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds will only make the Cardinals more of a dangerous team heading into the latter half of the season.
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Cardinals' Season Outlook
Going forward, Drake’s impact on the Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl odds is minimal as the Cardinals are still considered longshots with US sportsbooks listing them at +25000 odds. A similar case can be made for the Cardinals NFC West odds; they’re currently the only team in the division below .500 and sportsbooks have the Cardinals with +15000 odds to capture the division title.
With the Cardinals still having an outside chance to make the playoffs this season at the halfway point, trading for Drake while David Johnson gets healthy was one of the best trades made all season. The Cardinals now have a deep running back lineup and can possibly spoil some team’s playoff hopes down the stretch. In their next game, the Cardinals have a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will be another tough matchup for Drake, as the Buccaneers defense is surrendering a league-low 68.6 rushing yards a game to opponents.
After the Buccaneers game, the Cardinals don’t have an easy schedule to finish the season. They still have divisional games against playoff teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams (x2), and Seattle Seahawks. Although it’s unlikely they’ll make the playoffs, the Cardinals can still be major players in the NFC playoff picture.
As a professional sports writer, Robert has written for outlets such as the FAMUAN and other sports-centric platforms. He focuses mainly on NFL and NBA betting, though he keeps tabs on every major sport.