When the 2012 season concluded, you could safely rank the NFC West teams quarterback situation and rank the Arizona Cardinals fourth out of four teams. Now? I’d probably rank them as third but by a hair, over the St. Louis Rams‘ Sam Bradford. With the acquisitions of Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, I’d say the Cards have put themselves in position to win a few more games in 2013. For Bradford, this is a make or break year for him. Of course, we know what the San Francisco 49′ers have in Colin Kaepernick and Seattle Seahawks have in Russell Wilson.
Kaepernick took the Niners to the Super Bowl. Wilson to the divisional round of the playoffs. Bradford seemed to rebound a little in 2012 over 2011, however, I do like Palmer’s experience over him. If Palmer stays healthy for the Cards and the revamped offensive line can block better for him than they did for any of the four guys who took snaps last season for the Cards, I can easily see eight or nine wins. As tough as the schedule is, I can’t see, at least right now, many more wins than that, especially in the division.
St. Louis did a lot to improve the overall quality of their team, so they could win despite the play of Bradford. San Francisco and Seattle will probably do nothing but improve over already great seasons. This doesn’t mean the Cards couldn’t beat any of them on any given Sunday. Sure they could. It will be all about consistency at the quarterback position.
An argument was made during the draft that there seemed to be a shift from a quarterback driven league to an offensive lineman driven league. Well, no, not really. I understand the sentiment because there were a lot of linemen being taken early and no quarterbacks. However the linemen were taken in order to protect those quarterbacks, the Cards were no different. So teams were making sure they would be getting guys to protect their money makers. It’s still a quarterback driven league. It remains to see just how far Carson Palmer can drive the Cards.