Can the offensive line hold up? Does Carson Palmer have anything left? Two questions that have been all over ESPN and NFL.com about the Arizona Cardinals. Experts really liked what the front office did this offseason, but they still believe the Cardinals will be mediocre to average winning five to eight games at best. In the toughest division in football and having one of the toughest schedules in the league the Cardinals have their work cut out for them.
This team won five games last season, and if they were to match that again this year many fans would be horribly discouraged and some fans probably would be expecting it. There is a buzz among Cardinals’ players and Cardinals’ fans they feel excitement, but no one more than the defensive side. I feel this team is hungrier than ever and from reading and listening to player interviews you can feel the intensity in their voice. Fans realistically aren’t thinking Super Bowl when they hear about their team, but they expect the Cardinals to be in that conversation soon within three years.
Bruce Arians and his players on the other hand are thinking Super Bowl without a doubt in my mind. The Cardinals have the talent to compete in the NFC West and should be a playoff team. I feel there will not be anymore Cardiac Cards this team will be fundamentally sound and protect leads unlike in the past even in the days of Kurt Warner. The tough four game stretch against four playoff teams will be crucial to seeing how far this team is from being a contender. Those four games could make or break the Cardinals realistically I could see them going three and one with their only loss coming to the 49ers. Three very tough games against the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans. All of which are at home and they have a bye week before the Texans come to town.
I’m predicting 10 wins for this team which will be enough for the second wild card spot, they will win some games that no one expects them to win and win the few games that they are favored to win by experts. Palmer will be more than a game manager which is all he has to do for the Cardinals to be a winning team in my book. The Cardinals will surprise many experts and will probably never be taken seriously, but fans love an underdog. It won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but this team will pull together as one.