After watching the dominant performance from the Seattle Seahawks defense shutting down the high powered Denver Broncos offense, it is safe to say that the Arizona Cardinals will still be looking upto the their divisional rivals next year. The question remains how far behind are they?
Watching the Cards defense perform the way they did all season while missing key players to injury in the beginning and end of the season, would seem to say that they do not have far to go, in fact by the numbers they are not less than number 10 in almost every statistical category behind the Seahawks and 49ers. Another key fact is head to head they matched up fairly well in shutting down both of those dynamic offenses lead by electric play making quarterbacks, which for the most part the rest of the league could not contain.
With this reasoning in mind the Cardinals have done the first step in catching the leaders of the division by retaining defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for another year, and now are faced with resigning the pieces that made the deference this year mainly one Karlos Dansby, who was basically the defense’s fuel for high level performances game in and out.
Manager Steve Keim has another off season to ad and take away pieces to improve the team and after his first years success the expectations seem to have gone threw the roof, it will be very interesting to see the moves made in free agency and via the draft concerning the defensive side of the ball that would bring them to the same if not surpass the Seahawks level.
That answers the question earlier as to how far? It is not that far away, a piece here and a healthy return there the Cardinals will be able to put themselves in position for a chance to host the Super Bowl in their own building next year, and having been the only team with the formula to defeat the now Superbowl Champs in their own stadium for the last two years, it may not be crazy to believe that the Cardinals defense is very close to being on the same level as the Seahawks.