Nov. 25, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan (31) tackles Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: Breaking Down Their Road to the Playoffs

Every team strives to get into the playoffs, but some have tougher roads to the playoffs than others.

Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, they have a harder road than a lot of teams. Based on 2012 records, the Cardinals have the seventh-toughest schedule in the NFL. Arizona is in a tough conference, as there are no terrible teams in the NFC. In addition, the Cardinals have four games against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions had the worst records in the NFC. However, Philadelphia added some help on its offensive line and defense, and it added a new coach in Chip Kelly. The Eagles have talent, and they’re definitely going to improve upon their 4-12 2012 season.

The Lions had a lot of bad luck in 2012, but they have an explosive offense that ranked second in the NFL. Calvin Johnson is likely the best receiver in the NFL, and he will be supported by Reggie Bush, who is a talented running back who can break tackles and make plays in space. If Detroit’s defense improves, it could contend for a playoff spot.

If these teams had the worst records in the NFC, then it’s safe to say that every NFC team will present a challenge. Arizona plays 12 NFC teams, and six of those are in the NFC West. The St. Louis Rams, who added Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin in the draft to help Sam Bradford on offense, will play the Cardinals in two of those games, and the 49ers and Seahawks will be Arizona’s opponent in two other games.

Seattle and San Francisco are well-rounded teams, as the two ranked first and second in points allowed in 2012. In addition, both have explosive, young quarterbacks, and both have playmakers around the quarterbacks on offense. It will be very hard for the Cardinals to take even one game from the 49ers or Seahawks, and it’s not going to be easy for the Cardinals to beat the Rams either.

The NFC West is a hard division to play in, but the AFC South isn’t. The Cardinals have four winnable games against the AFC South, as the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, both playoff teams in 2012, will come to the desert to take on the Cardinals, while Arizona will travel to Jacksonville and Tennessee to take on the Jaguars and Titans. Jacksonville and Tennessee combined to go 8-24 in 2012, so neither team is going to present much of a challenge.

The AFC South is a division that the Cardinals will have to succeed against to make the playoffs, though. They’re going to play the Eagles, Lions, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons, and none of those teams are going to be easy to beat. However, most of those teams struggled on defense, so if Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald can hook up for a few completions the Cardinals will be able to win.

Arizona’s schedule may appear challenging, but a lot of the games are winnable. Because the Cardinals took major stride towards a better future with a strong showing this offseason, they can definitely win a lot of these games.

Obviously, not all winnable games are won. However, the Cardinals have what it takes to win a solid amount of games and contend for a Wild Card spot. Palmer has never received lots of offensive support, but he’s going to have a stellar running game to deflect attention away from him and a star receiver to make big plays.

Apr. 2, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer during a press conference to announce his signing with the team at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Palmer will also have a good defense on his side. Arizona’s defense also ranked 12th in the NFL in total defense, and while Daryl Washington is going to miss at least four games, Kevin Minter can step in and make an impact as Washington’s replacement. The Cardinals will face some high-profile offenses this year, as they have a combined seven games against the Lions, Saints, Falcons, 49ers and Seahawks.

While those teams are always hard to stop, the Cardinals can stop some high-profile offensive attacks. Arizona has Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, two difference-makers, in the secondary, and Peterson is already one of the league’s best corners. Peterson defensed 16 passes and intercepted seven in 2012, which were both nearly the best in the league.

Peterson will have some tough tasks in 2013, but he’s up to the challenge. Calvin Johnson, the NFL’s best receiver, will be facing the Cardinals in Week 2, and Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree will square off with Peterson twice in 2013. The Cardinals should be fine with these matchups, though. Peterson is a playmaker who has the cover skills to take any receiver.

The offensive line is another hurdle, but as long as Jonathan Cooper, Arizona’s first-round pick, can help improve a unit that surrendered 58 sacks in 2012, the Cardinals should be fine. The Cardinals will face some good pass-rushers, such as J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith. However, the line should be up to the task.

The Cardinals are a very well-rounded team, and they are definitely going to win some of the close games they lost last year with improved quarterback play.

The Cardinals lost close games to the Falcons, Vikings, Jets and Bills in 2012, and all of those games were winnable. Matt Ryan was harassed by Arizona’s defense, and the Cardinals should definitely be able to repeat their outstanding defensive performance and beat the inconsistent Falcons at home. Games like the one against the Jets (Arizona got no offense going and lost 7-6) aren’t going to happen again, and that’s going to make a huge difference.

Overall, the Cardinals have lots of obstacles to climb to get to the playoffs. However, they can definitely make it in as a Wild Card team. The Cardinals improved greatly, and they will be able to take the challenges presented by good teams. Most of Arizona’s harder games (such as games against Atlanta, Indianapolis and Houston), are at home, which gives them an advantage.

Don’t expect the Cardinals to cruise through the schedule, and expect them to play some bad games. However, expect them to stay in the playoff chase until the very end. As long as Arizona shows noticeable improvements (particularly in close games), it will be right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Why? Because it has a manageable schedule and a good team.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Schedule Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer Larry Fitzgerald Nfc West Predictions

  • 206iccness

    HAHAHAHA! The Title of this article is AWESOME!!!! I was expecting the article to be 1 sentence…”They can’t get onto the road to the playoffs…their offense is stuck in idle”

    GO HAWKS!!!

    • Scott Allen

      Go Hawks? LOL Ok my friend. We’ll see you on Thursday Night Football!

      • Guest

        In deed you will! I’ll be 4 rows up on the 33 yard line, looking something like this…

      • 206iccness

        Yes you will! I’ll be 4 rows up on the 33 yard line behind my boys!!

        • 206iccness

          Yes, that’s me. Been on TV at the last 5 Cards v Hawks games

          • Guest

            Have you looked like you were taking a dump in your pants in all six shots?

  • Nathan Kearns

    The only hunt the Arizona Cardinals will be in this season is the hunt for the Clowney with the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft…

    Arizona matched up horribly against the NFC West, with no run game, poor blocking from the offensive tackles, and poor run defensive outside of the tackles. They should, again, go 0-6 in the division, with none of the games being close.

    Patrick Peterson might be a Top 10 corner in the league and Kerry Rhodes might be a Top 15, fringe Top 10 safety, but Antoine Cason and Jerraud Powers are just as bad as William Gay, which is saying a lot. Top that off with the fact that you will be lining up a undersized, nickelbacker with a noted lack of coverage skills, Tyrann Matheui, as your other safety and Arizona will be killed by anyone with a strong passing game… So, tack on losses to Detroit, New Orleans, Houston, Altlanta, and Indianapolis. That brings the record to 0-11…

    The potential wins will be against Carolina,Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Philly, and Tennessee. Assuming you win all of those, and maybe sneak out an underdog win or two against better teams, you are still looking at a 6 to 7 win season. That will certainly not win the NFC West, is probably a 3-4 wins away from a wildcard slot.

    Arizona will be elimiated from the playoffs by Week 12, after a loss to the Colts, at the latest

    • Ricky Bobby

      Arizona didn’t go 0-6 in the Division last Year, they beat the seahawks. Being the Rams are Relying Heavily on two Rookie WR’s , and historically WR’s don’t come on strong till their 2nd or 3rd yr, and the rams lost steven Jackson , and Amendola, and have no real RB group and shitty vet WR’s Arizona will be a lot better on Offense. AZ had 4-5 starting OL players out, still after week 9 massie didn’t give up a single sack @RT, they only gave up 19 sacks wks9-17 and ranked 13th in the NFL. This year Brown Will be back@LT, they will have Cooper@RG, Massie proved his self as a RT, Sendlein will be back at C. Between College , Watford the 4th rounder this year , and Potter who has put on 15lbs of muscle since last year and did good in the second half , anyone can get RG spot, Hopefully Watford or Potter Preferably Watford. Palmer has Put up Playoff caliber #’s every year he has played , Playoff caliber career stats, He will have the best group of WR’s he has ever had,n the best n in the west with Fitzgerald, Last years #1 pick M. Floyd’s stage is set for a big year, Andre Roberts is Explosive and Ryan Swope who ran the second fastest combine 40 time and was stellar in College. At RB Stephan Taylor and A.Ellington were awesome in college, Both set records at Stanford and Clemson and conference records. Williams will be back Healthy he is a awesome back, and Mendenhall is signed for a year who has had 3 1000+YD seasons. All are great pass blockers except Williams. Palmer will have all this is a offense that suits his skills in BA’s vertical playbook. They are way better off offensively than the rams especially with RB’s that can put 100+yd game every game between the #1 n #2 backs. One Defense they were a top tier squad, and got better with the numerous FA’s they signed, they are deep in cornerbacks, They have Minter who is very accomplished and signed Dansby who always plays on the outside till Washington comes back week 5. OLB they are stacked as well , they will be fine, given how much better they are on Offense and a top D to match im Betting they stomp the Rams 2-0 , and Beat Sea and SF 1 game each. It was just in 2011 the rams were 2-14, If the Cards had anything that resembulled a QB losing 4 by less than 7 because they had no QB , they were a 9-10 win team last year. How u build up the rams I wouldn’t be surprised if you commit suicide Sept 9th when they lose wk1

      • Nathan Kearns

        0-6 was a joke, but 1-5 with that one division win in the opening game of the season is nothing to brag about….

        Relying heavily on 2 rookie wide receivers? Interesting, because I can almost guarantee there will not a rookie start on the offensive depth chart at any position. Tavon Austin will get plenty of snap, but Givens and Quick will be the starts. If you don’t remember Givens, he is the one that dropped 115 yard and a touchdown while making Peterson look like a scrub…

        But, this isn’t about the Rams, it is about the Cardinals. You can break down the roster all you want, but it doesn’t explain who you will overcome the weaknesses in matchups. Talk about relying on rookies, you them starting on nearly every layer of offense and defense…

        Gets you panties in a bunch all your want about the “improvements,” but you still have massive holes on the secondary and the offensive line which you yet to address. Good luck with the “playoff hunt”

        • Ricky Bobby

          How is Arizona relying heavily on Rookies on the offense or Defense? On offense the rams have no running game , I cant think of the the guys name but he was #2-3 on the rams depth chart he is a scrub and now their #1 and they have rookie. AZ will be relying on Mendenhall and Williams, and should something happen to them they have to very competent rookies in Taylor and Ellington. AZ is far better off with their group of Receivers, and the Cardinals have the perfect QB for the type of offense they are running, they are all around better off on offense.
          What Massive Holes on the OL have the cardinals failed to fix?? They Problem was the interior of the line, and nate potter was filling n for injured LT Brown, Massie gave up Zero sacks after week 9 at RT, in the fact the line gave up 19 in wks 9-17 and ranked 13th in the NFL. They went and got the best OG to come outta the draft in years and another beast in Watford. Brown is back at LT and he is avg in pass protection and a beast at RB. Massie has shown in his improvement he is a fine RT. Seindlein will be back @C. There OL will be fine there is no “massive holes”. They have no rookies on defense , how can u knock a D that was 12th in the NFL and 5th in pass protection. Kevin Minter ILB will see snaps and so will Mathieu “honeybadger” at CB n FS. Between PP, Arenas,Powers , Cason, flemming and a couple others they are stacked at CB and will be fine , Gay n Toler were scrubs that’s why they r replaced. When I was talkin about Rookies I was talking WR’s because of hard the transition to the NFL game is on most of them, WR’s wont be effective and the rams desperately need them to elevate their game , Next yr more than ever with Amendola out even though he is always hurt.
          The Cards will be fine on D , and given the new 3-4 they will run they will also utilize docket , and Campbell to get after the QB , they are stacked at ILB, and OLB they signed a pro-bowl player in Alexader to play there, and shuanessy n rucker will help stopping the run because of their Mobility on the field n how fast they are, Schofield n Acho esp Acho will still be on the field as well. The Defense is still top tier , and with the passing game they posses ,and the Run game, they far better off on than STL , outside of the kid who is being hailed as the best OG to come outta the draft in 20+ yrs, they aren’t relying on a rookie anywhere , will they get snaps yes. The Rams don’t have the Offense of the 2013 Cardinals, should of kept Jackson one more yr till they had someone proven at RB , if not, Bradford will be relying to heavily on passing game with out enough Receivers, unless Austin is the only WR in years to not have transition problems.

          • Ricky Bobby

            O , and in terms of the secondary what “Massive Holes” Do the Cardinals have ?? Being that the STL Rams lost safeties Quinton Mikell and Craig Dahl gone, they are relying heavily on Darian Stewart and rookie T.J McDonald. Stewart is coming into what his 4th yr ? in 13 starts he has one INT !!!! guys a scrub straight up , and their cornerbacks out star standout players , one is a tad above average if your being nice.

            The Cardinals look way better in their Secondary. They have one of the best CB’s in the NFL in P. Peterson , the guy is also more than Dangerous returning punts. T. Mathieu was a Defensive MVP @LSU , Numerous Awards and records set, a Heisman finalist, even the HC at LSU gave a interview like 2 weeks ago praising his play and talking about how big of a play maker he can be in the NFL. He will Play FS, CB , and return punts as well. They just traded their FB Sherman For Arenas from KC who is a very good full Back. They signed Cason , and Powers as well in FA both easily average safeties in the NFL but they wont be relying on them heavily in play, and they also have last year’s second round pick Flemming , he is very talented , their old HC whisenhunt who is a douche didn’t play rookies , he will do very well this yell. At Safety they Have Rhodes , Rashad Johnson was last years most improved player , He will see playing time, they also pick up Tony Jefferson from Oklahoma as UDFA , he was ranked 8th on the top safeties list , was thought to be a 2nd or 3rd talent and fell due to injury , I forgot the other safeties name from Oklahoma but they signed him to, I think Jefferson will def make the Practice squad and be on next years 53 man roster or we get Value in trade. The Cardinals also signed in FA Yeremiah Bell , who is a well Established vet , they are only paying him 750k for one year of service and he Def brings depth. Between Rhodes, Bell , Johnson, And Jefferson at Safeties they are deeper in depth and talent than the Rams , and at CB with one of the best in the NFL, and guys like Arenas, Powers, Cason, Last year’s 2nd rounder Flemming and this years pick Mathieu ( who would of been a 1st round talent had he not been caught with pot) they are stacked in CB’s. I’ll given u Mathieu Probably wont see much action in CB given they want him as a FS, still he is a huge play maker in the secondary. So ill ask you if the Cardinals are Deep in talent at CB , Better off at CB and definitely better off at Safety what ” Massive Holes ” Do they have? They are set at LB with Williams, Campbell and Dockett, and they are actually going to utilize Campbell and Dockett this year in getting after the Cornerback. They Are set at OLB as well as ILB esp with the signing of Dansby& Brinkley and drafting Kevin Minter in the 2nd, they Signed Pro Bowler Lorenzo Alexander @OLB, they have Acho Schofield and Signed Shuanessy and Rucker for their size and mobility to use in stopping the run. They are set in depth and talent on Defense , and the secondary is better off than the rams, esp with them hurting at Safety. Their D has no Holes, and the difference this year is they have a top offense to match their top defense

          • Nathan Kearns

            Hmmm… again, talking about the Rams which you know nothing about! Thats OK, I’ll give you a lesson…

            Darian Stewart didn’t play last season due to injury, but was one of the better all-around safeties in the NFL in 2011, despite playing in a secondary where the #1 through #3 cornerbacks were on the IR (Fletcher, Bartell, Murphy). Steward was 3rd among safeties in sacks (3), 2nd in hurries on the quarterback (7), 2nd in pass deflections (9), and 10th in defensive stops (30). He was a rookie in 2010, and only played 196 defensive snaps, but still managed 1 sacks, 6 hurries, 12 tackles, and 7 defensive stops. Should have stopped while you were ahead…

            …”and their cornerbacks out star standout players , one is a tad above average if your being nice.”

            Cortland Finnegan was a candidate for the 2012 All-Pro roster, with one of the best all-around performances in the NFL. He was the only cornerback with 100+ tackles, and held receivers to under 10.0 yard per catch (i.e. something that only 13 other corners can say). He also had more sacks, more hurries, and twice the number of defensive stops as Patrick Peterson, all while pulling in 3 interceptions.

            Janoris Jenkins was definitely “average”… other than leading the NFL in defensive touchdowns and setting a rookie record for pick-6s. Oh yea… and being the a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. That is all I think… and it wasn’t like that was his first year in the league or anything… oh, wait! Wanna know how he finished the season against Seattle who had average 50 points per game coming into Week 17? Got targeted ZERO times while playing 95.3% of the defensive snaps. I believe some would call that shutting down half the field…

            Stick with what you know, or at least think that you know with the Cardinals

            …Ignorance of other teams in the division is simply not too flattering, my friend.

          • Ricky Bobby

            Cortland Finnegan another old 7th round pick , Please little girl , The Man was a Canditate last year , he hasn’t since the Pro-Bowl Since 2008, He had 83 Tackles Last years, he is almost 30 years old as well. That guy you called a Scrub Antoine Cason had 73 in 2012. Patrick Peterson is a WAY better DB. Patrick Peterson was in the Pro-Bowl in 2012& 2011, He was a 2011 First team all Pro , Holds the NFL record for most Punt return yards by a rookie,tied the NFL record for most punt returns for a TD, Holds the record for Longest TD return in NFL history 99 yards in overtime, Only NFL Player ever to have 4 80+ Yard td returns, Finnegan couldn’t carry his jock strap, Finnegan has 17 career int’s Peterson had 7 just LAST YEAR. Guy is stud 2 pro bowls in 2 years proves it.

            Antoine Cason who the Cardinals signed is no slouch , He has 73 Tackles Last Year, 2 forced fumbles, 2 ints , He is another 08 1st rounder, On a Card defense he should be better this Year. Javier Arenas is coming over , He has only been in the League since 2010, He had 60 Tackles last year on the worse team in football, 2 FF”s and 2 int’s. Jerraud Powers only Played 8 Games Last Year , Still he had 40 tackles and 1 int, I don’t even expect him to be a starter, Maybe a situational player. The Cardinals Took Jamell Fleming in the 2012 Draft, He is a Very good DB but the Old HC didn’t believe in playing rookies there Rookie Year, Still in the 5 games he saw in December he recored 23 Tackles , he will definitely have a Role this Year. Between Rhodes and Bell They are strong at safety . Rashad Johnson was a Rookie last Year but he was the most improved Defensive player on the Team, They also have Tony Jefferson who was a UDFA out of Oklahoma he was rated the 8th best safety in the country coming into the draft and a 3rd round talent. The Cardinals have no “MASSIVE” holes anywhere in the secondary

            Tyrann Mathieu is Also a highly talented player coming in this year, if it wasn’t for his Problem , he would of been a 1st round talent. Him and Patrick Peterson are best friends, he actually moved in with Peterson’s parents when he was drafted for even more support PP’s dad is a preacher. He is a HUGE Talent. He was a Consensus All-American in 2011, First Team ALL-SEC 2011, SEC Defensive Player of the Year 2011, Chuck Bendik Award Winner 2011, Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP, Heisman Trophy finalist , and SEC CHAMPIONSHIP Game MVP. He had problems with weed not heroin or something that are done with . He will be playing FS n CB , He will be a huge play maker in the secondary , if you think he aint going to make any difference making plays this year your a idiot and live life in the clouds , he is Easily 1st round talent. I mean I don’t know what ” Massive Holes” they have , Looks Pretty good to me. With ILB and OLB as well as DT , the cardinals defense will be making more than a few QB’s make Mistakes. Anything Else Little Girl???? I seriously think u might commit suicide when the Cardinals go back to destroying the Rams again this year.

          • Nathan Kearns

            Can you read? You said the Rams would be relying on two rookie… I didn’t say another about the Cardinals…

            Interesting that the St. Louis Rams are all “scrubs” and rookies, despite the fact that Daryl Richardson was better than any running back currently (or formally) on the Cardinals roster. They also have a 2nd rounder from 2012 waiting in the helm, and Arizona has two late round rookies. The bias is nearly overwhelming, but I will continue…

            The massive holes of Sendlein (ranked 27th of 36 centers in 2012), right guard, and both tackle spots. Let me go ahead and predict what you will say:

            “Bobby Massie didn’t give up a sack after Week 9, whine, whine, whine…” Yes, because the quarterbacks were too busy launching interceptions. Plus, 13 sacks, 4 hits, and 35 pressures in half a season… you think things just magically “clicked” on for him? Doubtful.

            Earl Watford is a 5th round talent out of a less-than-irrelevant program. It’s OK, he should be a solid starter in an NFC West filled with dominating defensive lines, all while playing between two below average lineman on the right side…

            Levi Brown’s 2011 statistics: 11 sacks, 5 hits, 40 hurries. Ranked 51st out of 76 OTs… I am sure he will be significantly better in 2013 after not playing in all of 2012. So there are three holes…

            Moving on to the defense!

            No rookies as of yet, but my gut tells me that Matheui will jump Bell in the depth chart at some point, if not at the beginning of the season. Okafor has a shot at OLB as well, given the Lorenzo is nothing special on the outside.

            I love the Cardinals’ defense, it might be one of the more underrated units in the NFL. However, in terms of depth, there is none. Period…. which was made very apparent last season. You think that picking up two 4-3 DEs on the line is going to save the team if Dockett and Campbell get injured again? Please!

            Switch over to cornerback again… What planet are you from again? I’ll give you some figures on your “all star” cornerback crew:

            Jerraud Powers (ranked 80th of 113 CBs) allowed 4 receiving touchdowns and 65% catch rate; contributed 0 sacks, 0 hits on QB, 0 hurries, and only 1 interception.

            Antoine Cason (108th of 113) allowed 5 receiving touchdowns and 67% catch rate; contributed 0 sacks, 0 hits on quarterback, 1 hurry, and 2 interceptions.

            One of those is the “likely” starter opposite of Patrick Peterson. Good luck with that!

            The rest of that message I am having a hard time reading. The misspelling or, maybe, utter lack of the ability to spell your own players’ names is a finite sign that you know nothing about how they will translate into the Cardinals’ defense.

            The Cardinals defense is not “top-tier” but likely a Top 15, fringe Top 10 unit, if last year is any indication. You have no clue how the passing game will turn out, especially with question marks all over the offensive line, tight end slots, and receivers not named Larry. And the run game is anyone’s guess…

            You also have no clue about the Rams’ roster outside of what you might head on ESPN or find on an online depth chart. But, I find it interesting that you have just a narrow view on rookie receivers…

            “… unless Austin is the only WR in years to not have transition problems”

            … years, really? A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Torrey Smith, Mike Williams! All within the last 4 years… all with roughly 1,000 receiving… most with 6+ touchdowns their rookie season.

            That Arizona sun must be hurting your eyes son…

          • Ricky Bobby

            Daryl Richardson is better than any RB currently on the Roster or Formally?? Really?? Lets take a look. Richardson is a scrub , a 7th rounder taken 252nd overall if you wanna talk about late round picks. The Rams are Relying on him and a 2nd rounder taken last year now that Jackson is gone ?? wow they are in more trouble than I thought.

            The Cardinals signed Rashard Mendenhall in the off season , a grinder back with little feet that can grind or break away deep runs with his speed. The Main reason new HC BA wanted him is he coached him before. He Ran 1000+ Yards in 2009, and 2010, and 2011 he ran 982 Yards before he was injured and out for the rest of the year. He was taken in the 1st round in 2008. He healed in 2012. He alone is better than anyone STL can offer. Richardson has only only ran a lil over 400yds in 2012 , a scrub.The Cardinals have 2011 2nd round pick, 38th overall, Ryan Williams , who is a HUGE talent but was unlucky enough to suffer a ACL tear in preseason in 2011 and a season ending shoulder injury in 2012 at the very start of the season. A lot of great RB’s were taken Late this year. Look up Stephan Taylor and his college resume, who the Cardinals took in the 5th round. He played in a Stacked PAC-12 , yet was able to set school records and PAC 12 records. Running WELL over1000+ Yards the last years. Only Stanford player ever to run 1000+ yard 3 seasons in a row and has the Stanford rushing yards record of over 4300. Last year he ran almost 1600 Yds and had 13 tds. He is a Excellent Pass Blocker as well. If Ryan Williams Cant stay healthy Taylor has never been injured and is a perfect #2 1st down back because he is a grinder and can easily over take Williams with his talent to be a #2. He is more talented than the 7th rounder u have offered up so far. Andre Ellington is also a great Pass Blocker, A Break Away speedster RB, Who set many school records at Clemson as well as Conference Records. Coming into the draft both were 2nd round talents thought to be taken much Earlier. They Also have William Powell n Alfonso Smith on roster for Depth, 3 guys on the roster, Especially Mendenhall are more talented than anyone on the Rams and Mendenhall has Proved it. The Lack of Depth and Talent on the Rams roster is why every Analyst out there has the rams 4th in the Division in RB’s .

            Yeah Massie had it rough , he sucked his first 8 games , after the Bye , He came in Gave up ZERO sacks and was rated to be a TOP 3 NFL OT. Watford actually was rated to be a 2nd- 3rd round talent not a 5th. We took him in the 4th. A lot of great OGs were drafted in the 4th-6th rounds. him coming from a small conference ( same conference Joe Flacco came from) Doesn’t Mean he Sucks, Especially since he is a highly rated Run Blocker and in Pass Protection. Levi Brown isn’t the best, he is coming off tore triceps , He is a Monster in run Blocking though, he is more than Adequate in Pass Protection , Especially when u have a QB that isn’t afraid to pull the trigger and holds the ball way to long , with no Pocket Presence Like skelton and kolb , esp Kolb, Qb’s like that make top OLs look inadequate. Palmer is one of the best at reading Defenses and gets rid of the ball very quickly, That helps OL Drastically. Seindlein has Proved himself a Servicable C, The only weak spot they have and I wouldn’t consider it weak, is the RG spot , because if Watford Doesn’t start right away Colledge will at RG. Still between Levi Brown and J.Cooper on the Left side , they are monsters in run blocking , and well above average in pass protection with palmer back there. Massie has Proved to be a top NFL tackle at RT, Top 3 in the 2nd of the year .you will see either College or Watford at RG Maybe Potter most likely Potter and Rachal stay in reserve . Their line will be more than enough to protect palmer with how fast he gets rid of the Ball and Beastly in Run Blocking. Just in the 2nd half of the year the OL improved enough to rank 13th in the NFL only giving up 19 Sacks. With Improvement that was made that =38 sacks in a Year. Adding Cooper and Brown back Easily takes off 10-15 sacks with Snyder gone and Potter not @LT. With the Talent they have they should give away 20-25 sacks. They Also Fired the whole coaching staff, Including the OL coach Russ Grimm who was a horrible coach , New HC BA brought in some of the best line coaches in the Game of Football has which will help a lot, Maybe enough to bring in Watford early if he does enough in the preseason.

            Funny when you look into the Cardinals Secondary you pick two guys who were signed as backups for Depth. You Said Nothing about Safeties which is a Major Part of the Game because the Rams have none that are even adequate , the one veteran has one takeaway in his Career. The Cardinals Between Patrick Peterson, Arenas, Fleming , Cason and Powers, Cason and Powers are ST or situational Players. They are also more stacked at the Safety Position as well the Rams are just hurting for SS. T Mathieu will play CB as well as FS.

            One DE the cardinals have a lot more than a couple good Players , They Picked up more than two. I don’t know how u can state Lorenzo Alexander is ” Nothing Special” The man is a pro-bowler, He was signed to help out at OLB for his speed mainly , in stopping the run and getting to the QB. On DE They Picked up Alex Okafor in the draft , he was rated as one of the best in nation, They also Picked up Frostee Rucker and Matt Shaughnessy for their size and speed/mobility they posses in stopping the run , more sostopping running QB. Calais Campbell is a Beast as Well as a DE. DT is the only spot they run a little at , But Dan Williams and Darnell Dockett are flat out Beasts at DT, The new DC is actually utilizing them in getting at the QB, something Horton didn’t do. At LB they are absolutely stacked to the point where they are Dangerous on everydown. Even the backups are starters on weaker teams. Carlos Dansby is a top talent in the league so is Lorenzo Alexander, Dansby can Play inside and outside. At ILB they have Dansby, Washington, 2013 2nd rounder Kevin Minter who was rated Top ILB in the nation at one point easily a 1st roud talent, Jasper Brinkley, and Reggie Walker that’s just at ILB. OLB they have Sam Acho, O’Brian Schofield , Lorenzo Alexander, Okafor , Rucker , and Shaughnessy will also be playing OLB, They are more stacked with talented backup depth as well in Both ILB n OLB. They Will Easily have a Great Defense this year . There only flaw run blocking , They went out and signed a Bunch of guys that are Awesome in stopping the run to fix that. They had the 12th overall D last year and they improved upon that, Especially with the guys they are Putting at OLB to get after the QB, With guys like Washington , Carlos Dansby, Minter at ILB and Brinkley who will play 3rd downs, he is great stopping the run. They were rated 5th in Pass Defense, They Upgraded to stop the run, Overall they should be a to ten 10 this year.

            When it comes to WR , sure a few rookies did good their rookie year , and Tavon Austin will probably have a good year esp in the slot. I meant Historically , WR typically don’t show the greatness they were drafted for, for 2-3 years on AVG. True I don’t know how the Passing game will turn out in 2013 , but that can be said for the Rams as well with Rookies Coming in , that Bradford being so Inconsistent , he has had one 60% comp year, and with a 58% career comp % and a passer rating of 81, he is far from great. The Cardinals with all the talent on offense , Have a really , really high Chance of the passing game being lethal. Their OL is Fine, It is a awesome run blocking line as well. The Cardinals Have a lot more than just Larry Fitzgerald as you stated. They have M. Floyd a 2012 1st round pick who is a awesome talent, Andre Roberts is Easily a #2 WR on any other team , He is a Explosive slot Receiver. Laron Byrd is a very good Receiver a poor mans Fitz. They also signed Ryan Swope , who will definitely get Snaps as a Slot Receiver. He is just as fast as Austin but not a midget, he was the burner BA wanted running the 2nd fastest 40 of the combine , Avg 4.2-4.3 and is 6ft tall 200 pounds, Het set school records at Texas A&M in catches , yards and TD’s. He plays like a bigger faster version of Welker. Those are just thestarters.They don’t have question marks at TE,though they could use a great one .Rob Housler has great hands , very good receiving TE, needs to work on his Blocking . When you need your TE to block , they have Jeff King who is a Very good blocking TE. Carson Palmer has done A lot more with A lot less in the last 3 years than Bradford putting up better stats each year of the last 3, and his first 3 rookie years , and all around, he has never had a season under 60% in completion or a Passer rating under 85% . He came off the couch in 2011, to a offensive system that did fit his skills , and still won them games not even knowing the playbook , there D crumbled which is why they didn’t make the playoffs in 2011. You think Bradford could of done that?? please!! Carson Palmer has multiple 4000k yard passing seasons , every season he has played he puts up Play off Caliber QB #s. His Career stats are better than Eli’s . This Year he is in a offensive system that fits his skills in a vertical offense, with the best receivers in the west, and a great running game. If the Cards had him last year they are a 10 win team. They lost 4-5 because they had no QB. The Cardinals have better Receivers than the Rams , They Have Better Running backs than the Rams, Their QB is better than Bradford, he’s proved it. They will have a Lethal High Scoring offense this year, they have no gaping holes. The Rams have a Better Defensive Line up front , and a Better OL that’s it. As a whole offense , The Cardinals are Far better off in the running game, Their OL is fine, and with Palmer and the Receivers he has he is better off in the Passing game. Sept 9th is going to suck for you , The Cardinals are easily going to beat them , Both games. The rams have had a 1-5 season and 2-14 season since 2009 n didn’t have a winning record last year , back to 4th place they go.

          • Nathan Kearns

            You really are an idiot if you think that premising you entire argument on his draft position means anything. The guy took nearly 100 carries for nearly 500 yards, and averaged 4.8 yards per attempt in 2012. Anyone currently on your roster do that? No? STFU…


          • Ricky Bobby

            Im not saying his draft Position has anything to do with his play. You said two highly regarded College prospect’s who set both school and conference records in college )When Richardson didn’t) werent anything because they were drafted in the 5th and 6th rounds this year , when Daryl Richardson is a 7th rounder , and im the Idiot?? NO Body has Rushed for 500 yards and avg 4.8 yards per carry on the Cardinals Roster?? Rashard Mendenhall has avg’d 4.6 but makes Richardson looks like a scrub in every other category. Last year he didn’t play most of the year because he was coming off a ACL injury, this year he will be back @100% . Richardson has ZERO RUSHING TD’S by the way, 19 first downs, He also lost 2 fumbles lost year, and a long of 53 yds . In 2009 Mendenhall ran 1108 in 242 att , had a long of 60 yds, 7 tds , 48 First downs , and 3 fumbles. 2010 Mendenhall Ran for 1,273 yards in 324 att’s , Avg 4 yds a carry , a Long of 50 , 13 tds , 61 first downs and 2 fumbles. 2011 he Ran 982 yards in 228 atts , 4.1 avg ,a long of 68 yards , 9 tds , 45 first downs, and 1 fumble. Look at Mendenhall’s REC stats compared to Richardson , there is no comparison. He didn’t really due shit last year coming off a injury and having problems with the FO in the Burgh. He Alone is better than any 1 RB on the Rams roster. When you add n Ryan Williams , who was a 2nd round 2011 pick and was highly regarded coming into the league, He had 2 season ending injurys in the preseason in 2011 and Broke his shoulder last year.He will be back 100% this year. Coming into this year its a make or break it year for him if he cant stay healthy. With his talent he is a dangerous man this year being he needs to have a good year to keep his job. If you don’t much about him I suggest u look him up. Then they have Stephan Taylor and Andre Ellington coming in this Year, Both set Mutiple school records and conference records.Taylor played in the very stacked PAC-12. Both Were Projected to go in the 2nd-3rd round , both (esp taylor) are expected to come in and contribute right away with ryan Williams problems staying healthy if it continues. All of these RB’s (Except Williams, needs work) Are Excellent Pass Blockers as well . The Team also has William Powell and Alfonso Smith who are scrubs , perfect pickup for the Rams if they or one doesn’t make the Practice and are cut. Their #1 is by far better than STL #1 this year , and as a unit , The Cardinals are FAR better off at the RB positon . Between Carson Palmer under center , The stage is set for one of the top 3 receivers in last years draft M. Floyd to have a huge breakout year now that he has a QB , Fitzgerald getting back in form , Andre Roberts( who easily would be #2 on the depth chart for the rams) who is arguably one of the more explosive slot receivers in the NFC, Ryan Swope coming in to get snaps in the Slot , running the second fastest time@ the combine, he Avg 4.2-4.3 40 he is as fast as Tavon Austin but he is 6ft and 205 pounds, Not a midget like Austin. one missed block he is gone for huge yards, TE rob housler has great hands. With the Running game they will have, the Cardinals Can easily Score 35-40 (35 easily) more TD’s than they did last year. With a QB who puts up Playoff Caliber #s every year he plays, A by far better Receiving group (Best in the West) A far more talented RB group, Their OL will be far better this year than last yr Arizona is easily better offensively coming into 2013. You need to stop wearing pink dresses and Playing in the clouds Princess if you think otherwise.

    • Baily Deeter

      I don’t know about that. Upsets happen in football, and the Cardinals have winnable games against Atlanta, Houston and Seattle. I don’t see a playoff berth, but 7-9 wins is definitely possible. With this team last year, AZ would have won 7-10 games.

      • Nathan Kearns

        I disagree with that, but respect your opinion. The defense still does not have the secondary to match up with any team outside of say…. the Detroit Lions, or other teams with a sole receiver that dictate the entire offense.

        Guess we will see! Go Rams! Go NFC West

        • Baily Deeter

          That’s true; Peterson will have to dominate and Mathieu will have to step up. Thanks for commenting!