Although it is similar to premature ejaculation to “look forward to the end result” and make “predictions” about the regular season before the final roster has been set, it seems that the Arizona Cardinals are primed to do great things this season, based upon statistics from last season.
In the 2016 season, the Cardinals finished with a record of 7-8-1 and second in the NFC West behind the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle finished the regular season with a record of 10-6, only two games better than Arizona. Taking 2016 under a microscope, one can notice that, even though the Cardinals did have a lot of injuries, five out of their eight losses were by seven points or fewer.
Arizona will enter 2017 with some new faces, and new mindsets. Head Coach Bruce Arians spoke on NFL Network about the 2016 season saying, “You gotta win close games, The NFL is all about close games. And we had won more close games than anybody in the league previous years. And last year, we lost four games that we had — three by kicks, one by just not playing smart. We could have been smarter. We spent all offseason practicing those scenarios that put you in critical situations so we can be a smarter football team.”
This season could turn one of two ways for the Cardiac Cards.
- They could go down in a blaze of glory, disappointing everyone and once again not finish ballgames. or
- This could be the year that Arizona finishes games, and turns it around, maybe even taking the division crown. They finished two games behind Seattle in the standings, when they played them in the regular season, Arizona beat Seattle once, and tied them the other time.
The Arizona Cardinals, need to turn this year around, and they are primed to do so both offensively and defensively.
On Offense: The team has arguably the most sought after running back in the league, along with the veteran presence of Carson Palmer and of course the long time face of the franchise, Larry Fitzgerald. The three-pronged rushing attack of David Johnson, Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington will prove deadly to defenses this season. Last season the Cardinals ranked ninth in total offense even ahead of the “high-flying” Seattle Seahawk offense.
On Defense: There are a few young faces and some veterans to watch out for, Budda Baker has been turning heads this preseason, in a defensive unit that already includes three pro bowlers in Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, and Justin Bethel. Haason Reddick has been impressing Coach Arians in training camp. So much so that B.A. spoke to the media, saying “He’s probably the best we’ve ever had as a linebacker, Being able to cover people, it’s just natural ability, having been a safety when he was young.” (See full interview: http://www.azcardinals.com/videos-photos/live-video.html)
It’s not fair to judge a book off it’s cover, and numbers do not mean everything, however, it seems that with the team gelling, and looking at the results from last season, realizing that the Arizona Cardinals missed the division crown by only two games? It seems that the future is bright for this Cardinals squad and they definitely will be one to watch in the upcoming season.
Thanks a lot for reading.
In a recent article published by Bleacher Report ( http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1953277-redditor-creates-geographically-based-nfl-divisions ), there was a suggestion for realignment of the AFC and NFC based on pure geography. It is, to be blunt, a terrible idea.
While this proposal would save teams in travel costs, that is the only benefit to such a notion. Let’s focus on why this is a bad idea.
First off, it’s bad for Charger fans because it breaks up the long-standing (since 1960) rivalries with Kansas City and Denver. This idea would not have us going head to head twice a year. This proposal would create a western division of the Chargers, Raiders, 49ers and Seahawks. Really?
Secondly, it’s bad for other cities for the same reason. No longer would you have the rivalry between Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia and the New York Football Giants, as the suggested realignment would pull the Cowboys and Giants into other divisions.
Other long-standing rivalries that would be broken up would include the Jets, Patriots, Dolphins and Bills. Also the Saints and Falcons rivalry would go away as would Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The only rivalries that would go undisturbed would be the NFC Norris with Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota.
Last, but certainly not least, this would blur the line between the old legacy AFL teams and NFL teams. Enough of that was done to create balance in the 1970 AFL/NFL merger when the Colts, Steelers and Browns were moved to the newly formed AFC for balance.
Roger Goodell has caused enough harm to the game we all know and love. Let’s not help him with stupid ideas.