NFL

Unbeaten Cardinals running over opponents behind strong ground game

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson participates in an NFL football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson participates in an NFL football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Their running game is producing at a rate not seen in 27 years so it's no surprise that the Arizona Cardinals are off to a 3-0 start.

Despite missing starter Andre Ellington for the past two games due to injury, the Cardinals have rushed for at least 115 yards in each of their three wins - the first time since 1988 they opened a season with three such games.

"It's just a start," Arizona center Lyle Sendlein cautioned. "You can't just show up and expect you'll get that kind of yardage every week."

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The Cardinals certainly couldn't have expected the production they have received from former 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson, who was signed off the street in August after recovering from an offseason gunshot wound.

Expected to share a backup role with rookie David Johnson, Chris Johnson rushed for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Sunday's 47-7 mauling of the San Francisco 49ers. It was his first 100-yard game since the final game of the 2013 season.

"I don't know why other teams didn't look (at signing him)," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said of Chris Johnson. "I'm just glad we did."

The ground game could be getting a lift for this week's matchup against the St. Louis Rams. Ellington and guard Mike Iupati, one of the team's best run blockers, are expected to return to practice this week.

(h/t AzCardinals.com)