Thursday, August 16, 2012

Still Pittsburgh West: Arizona Cardinals Season Preview

2011 Record: 8-8

2011 Ranks
Total Offense: 19
Rush Offense: 24
Pass Offense: 17
Scoring Offense: 24
Total Defense: 18
Rush Defense: 21
Pass Defense: 17
Scoring Defense: 17


The Cardinals return much of the same offense as last season with the addition of first round pick Michael Floyd (WR-Notre Dame) who should help take some of the heat off of Larry Fitzgerald. The Cards O-line still has some question marks, but a healthy Ryan Williams should give Beanie Wells some aid in the backfield. The offense will inevitably come down to a decision by the coaches: Kevin Kolb or John Skelton? The Cards forked out a pretty penny for Kolb in a trade with the Eagles last year and he hasn't been able to solidly claim his spot ahead of former 5th round pick Skelton. It seems like Skelton has the edge right now, but this is as wide open a QB situation as you'll see this side of New York.


The Cardinals might have one of the best 3-4 defensive line's around, but their linebackers leave something to be desired. The linebackers are young and none of them have put up fantastic numbers thus far in their career. The success of the defense will rest on the linebacking corps. In the secondary, last year's first round pick Patrick Peterson should hold down one corner while former Steeler William Gay will man the opposite side. All in all, this is a pretty good secondary with a solid set of safeties in Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes.


Quarterbacks and linebackers. This is really what it comes down to. If the Cards can get production out of these two positions, they might be able to challenge for the division crown. More likely, they'll be an average team again this year and be looking at landing a franchise passer in the draft next year. The one area the Cards have to improve is turnovers - they were -13 last year and were at the bottom of the league in both turnovers forced and turnovers committed.

What They're Saying

We turned to the definitive source for all things sports in the Grand Canyon State, our buddy Scott Allen from Raising Zona (also, one of the best named blogs out there...always have to appreciate a Cohen Brothers reference). You can find him on Twitter @azsportsguy

1. What were the biggest moves the Cardinals made this offseason?

The biggest moves were made in the draft.  The were able to draft for need while at the same time getting the best players available.  They got WR Michael Floyd, who should compliment Larry Fitzgerald well on the other side of the field, assuming a QB can get them the ball.  Also offensive lineman Bobby Massie from Mississippi was a steal in the fourth round.  The biggest free agent pick up was probably also on the offensive line, getting Adam Snyder from the San Francisco 49'ers. He will add good experience on the line.

2. What are your expectations for the Cardinals this season?

Well based on current roster and schedule, I expect at least a 9-7 season.  However they don't play the games on paper.  It will all depend on how the Cards handle the QB situation with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.  This team could finish anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5.  I would side closer to the 5-11, but I honestly don't think they are that bad.  This team is a year older and on paper is better than what they had in 2011 when they went 8-8.  The defense should be a force to be reckoned with. 

3. Do you think this is the end of the line for Ken Whisenhunt?

No.  I don't understand why anyone would think that either?  The performance on the field has little to do with his coaching, at least in my opinion.  I don't think you could get anyone else to come in and get something out of a Kevin Kolb, a poor offensive line, or poor tackling.  All Whiz can do is call the plays.  Sure he gets conservative sometimes and it does drive people crazy at times, however I'm not sure replacing the coach is the answer.  He provides stability, players like him, and I just don't see a better solution for this team right now. 

We're glad to hear this. We always liked Whiz and would hate to see him get a bum rap because the Cardinals have lost a ton of talent to retirement and free agency in the last few years.


On the whole, this is much the same team as last year when the Cards went 8-8. I don't think William Gay will do much to help their turnover ratio in the secondary and all signs point to another year mired in mediocrity for the Cardinals. 7-9.

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