Johnson scores three touchdowns, including a 58-yard run, and rushes for 111 yards as the Cardinals crush the Jets. Arizona will host the Seahawks on Sunday night.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Stopping the run was one of the few things the New York Jets had done well this season.
Until they faced David Johnson and the Arizona Cardinals.
Johnson rushed for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cardinals shut down the listless Jets 28-3 on Monday night.
Johnson scored on runs of 58, 2 and 2 yards while becoming the first player to rush for three scores against the Jets since LeSean McCoy did it five years ago.
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“I say it each and every week. David’s special,” Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “I mean very, very, very special. We got us one in (No.) 31.”
The Cardinals (3-3) won their second in a row to climb back to .500 and will host the Seahawks (4-1) at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. New York (1-5) lost its fourth straight in a rough return to Arizona for Todd Bowles, who was defensive coordinator for the Cardinals for two seasons before getting the Jets coaching job two years ago.
“We’ve won two in a row,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “We’re still just a .500 ballclub, but I like the way we look right now.”
Arians took no great joy in beating Bowles. Their connection goes back to their days together at Temple three decades ago.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Arians said.
The Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick was 16 of 31 for 174 yards and was benched in favor of Geno Smith after New York’s longest drive of the night ended in an interception in the end zone late in the third quarter.
“As an offense we are just not consistent right now and the offense goes as the quarterback goes,” Fitzpatrick said. “I have got to play better.”
Smith’s lone series at quarterback ended when he was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu with 4:20 to play.
“The game was 28-3 with eight minutes left in the game,” Bowles said. “We weren’t doing anything else. I just wanted to give him some reps. Like a relief pitcher, a starting pitcher, on this day you put in the relief pitcher. Fitz will be (the starter) next week.”
Arizona’s Carson Palmer, back after missing a 33-21 win at San Francisco with a concussion, was 23 of 34 for 213 yards before leaving with a hamstring strain after throwing a 9-yard TD pass to Michael Floyd with 8:20 remaining.
Arizona scored in the first quarter for the first time this season on the second time Johnson touched the ball.
“Our coach has been harping on us about that,” Johnson said. “It felt good to get in the end zone. I felt like that’s actually what started everyone getting hyped, everyone getting into the game.”
The second-year running back dodged a pair of defenders near the line of scrimmage, and then raced to the end zone on his longest run of the season.