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May 14, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) looks on during organized team activities at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals Round Table: How Many Games Will the Cardinals Win?

Arizona Cardinals fans are optimistic about their team’s outlook for 2013, and our writers are as well.

The Cardinals went 5-11 in 2012, but they made a lot of changes in the offseason. The changes are likely to benefit the Cardinals from the get-go, as the team is a lot better.

But how much better are the Cardinals? Let’s find out.

Michael Russell

For me this season comes down to two things. Can Carson Palmer be the guy for the Cardinals, and can the offensive line protect him? So if I had to guess a number, I would say eight wins for the Cardinals this year, with the potential for more or less. If Palmer can come in and give the Cardinals solid play from the quarterback position, and can be protected by the Cardinals offensive line, this can be a good team. If the defense can play up to the level of last season, and the Cardinals can get a running game going behind guys like Rashard Mendenhaal, Ryan Williams, Stepfan Tayor, and Andre Ellington then you could possibly be looking at a ten-plus win team. But it all comes down to the quarterback, and I don’t see any reason the Cardinals can’t win at least eight games in 2013.

Philip Hoffman

The Arizona Cardinals will have to fight very hard to win games this season, they have a very tough schedule. With a new coaching staff, the Cardinals will have to work extra hard to learn new offensive and defensive schemes. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, one of their toughest stretches of games comes in the first four weeks of the season.

Without seeing any evidence of an improved offensive line , or a defense that can match last years play, I do not see them winning the first four games of the season against the St. Louis Rams, the Detroit Lions, the New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The first win of the season will come during a home game against the Carolina Panthers.After that game, they will enter the toughest four game stretch of the season with games against the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans. They will most likely lose all four of those games as well.
From there the schedule become a lot easier and since the offense and defense should be adjusted to their new schemes by then, victories will come. They should be able to beat, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles, a home game against the Rams, and against the Tennessee Titans.
The only wild card game in that group is the match with the Eagles, the Cardinals have beaten them two years in a row. Last year the Eagles were embarrassed by the Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. This makes me wonder if the Eagles will come with a vendetta against the Cardinals and pull out a win when they otherwise shouldn’t.
After those contests, the Cardinals finish out the season with games against the Seahawks and 49ers. Hopefully the team will be able to pull off one upset in those two games.

Overall the Cardinals should be able to win 4-6 wins next season based on evidence from last year. Now if the offensive line is able to improve, and the defense is able to match its play last year, the Cardinals should be able to pull off some more wins against some teams they would not have beaten last year.

Earl Burnett

It depends on offensive line and can they come up with a combination that can hold up and if they hold up and protect Palmer along with the running game, offensively they can win 6 games. Then you add the talent on defense and special teams that should add 2 or 3 wins. So the Cardinals can win 8 or 9 games.

Brenton Johnson

Brenton wrote an article about this, and it will go up later today. Here’s an excerpt.

“I must admit, I have been truly impressed and excited about all the additions added to the Cardinals roster (this offseason) from top to bottom. Additionally, on paper I believe the Redbirds had if not the best; one of the best offseason’s this year.”

Baily Deeter

I say seven or eight. The NFC West is brutal, but I really like what the Cardinals have done this offseason. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald will click immediately, and the Cardinals’ offense will be dangerous. They are well-rounded, and I think they have the talent to win more games, but with the schedule this year, I just don’t see it.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer Larry Fitzgerald

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