Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) catches an eight yard touchdown during the second half as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner (39) defends at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
A close look at the 2014 Arizona Cardinals and where they might finish in the tough NFC West division. This division has gone from rags to riches over the last six years, now after last years surprising performance the Cardinals have stated their claim as a strong contender for the division title this season.
Standing in their way of course are the two power houses at the top of the division, the Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, with the Cardinals a close third.
Yes, a close third, after a 10-6 finish and the only team to beat the champion Seahawks in their building after two years of undefeated dominance,the Cardinals have their standards set really high next season.
The Redbirds had the defense to match any team in this division, but after the developments concerning linebacker Daryl Washington out for the year they may have taken a giant step backwards, and the team has to have its strong points on offense now. With no one as fast and athletic as Washington its going to be difficult to cover the tight end position. Last year the Cards also lacked in their o-line and of course the right signal caller, well, they have sured up those positions and are coming into this training camp already knowing their scheme,as opposed to last year where everything was new for everyone.
The usual predictions have the Cardinals finishing third or fourth in the standings behind Seattle and San Francisco, everyone overlooking the fact that the Cardinals have added the pieces that will finally get to display what Head Coach Bruce Arians offense will look like, and the formula is speed,speed, and more speed. But it will hard to compensate for the missing speed at middle linebacker.