Arizona’s season ended when Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Rams. The regular seasons close marked a changing of the guard. Carson Palmer retired, Bruce Arians hung up the clipboard and the Cardinals were left looking for answers. Steve Wilks former Panther coordinator takes over the job in Arizona and with-it expectations from a team that wants to get to the playoffs asap.
The Cardinals picked up long time leauge journeyman Sam Bradford in free agency. Though Bradford is the most injury prone QB in the leauge it’s worth noting that he had the best two games of his career against very good defenses back to back last year. He’s a passable starting QB that could take a team to the playoffs but only if he stays healthy. Meanwhile the Cardinals drafted, in my opinion, the best QB in the draft Josh Rosen. With something to prove if Rosen sees the field this year he will make a difference for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals QB’s will have a challenge though. The Cardinals wide receiving core is made up of a lot of very different pieces. The ageless wonder and future hall of famer Larry Fitzgerald. The question surrounding him is can he keep this up? Brice Butler comes over from the Cowboys a proven starter, but is he a difference maker? And the unproven rookie that had drastically different scouting reports from different minds of the NFL machine, Christian Kirk. The Cardinals wide receivers have a ton of questions around them. They could be great and really produce well or they could take a steep decline due to Fitzgerald’s age.
The trend for the Cardinals is questions surrounding their offense. Let’s be honest the offensive line last year was god awful and they lost pieces this offseason, Jared Veldheer was traded to the Broncos. Outside of signing Andrew Smith in free agency they did very little to improve the position. Not only does that bode poorly for your QB room, one a rookie the other prone to injury, it doesn’t bode well for your game changing back. David Johnson who is coming off injury, Johnson should come back at full strength, but Cardinals fans should be worried about his health at this point as he has nearly missed two whole seasons of his young career due to injury. If Johnson can get going though look out, he may be one of the only backs in the leauge that could win a game all by himself. However, after Johnson the depth chart of running backs in Phoenix is pitiful. Chase Edmons is slated to be the backup.
The defense of the Cardinals is the most under the radar squad of the leauge. People just glossed over the fact that Chandler Jones lead the leauge in sacks last year just because the team was mediocre. He looked dominant in nearly every single game he played. Deone Buchannan and Haason Reddick are quality linebackers that could make a really big impact on the defense. Though losing honey badger hurts this team shouldn’t be to concerned. Budda Baker is an excellent safety and you still have one of the best CB’s in the game with Patrick Peterson.
The Cardinals are a team that could make the playoffs if things break right. However there are just so many questions around this roster right now. Forgive me Cardinals fans but I feel a bit pessimistic about your chances in 2018.
Record Prediction: 5-11