The Arizona Cardinals have started to resemble the 2014 Cardinals team
The Arizona Cardinals have a healthy quarterback in 2016. Based on how things are going however, it may not last that long.
Carson Palmer has missed one game so far this season thanks to a concussion suffered against the Los Angeles Rams in week four. He took a beating, taking a career-high eight sacks against the Carolina Panthers this past Sunday however.
Palmer was the big hit the Cardinals couldn’t afford in 2014. At the time Palmer went down in 2014 with a torn ACL, also against the Rams, the Cardinals were 9-1. They finished 2-4 over the last six weeks.
That team limped into a playoff game at Carolina. This season has been all about trying to redeem what happened…in Carolina. Now the Cardinals suffered arguably their biggest injuries of the season on Sunday…in Carolina. What starts in Carolina, ends in Carolina, right?
By ends, many believe the Cardinals season has ended. They lost tackle Jared Veldheer for the season to a torn triceps. They lost tight end Ifeanyi Momah to a broken wrist. They lost safety Tyrann Mathieu, again, this time to a shoulder injury.
While Mathieu is out three to six weeks, Momah didn’t even get a trip to injured reserve. He got an injury settlement and was waived.
The Cardinals already lost running back Chris Johnson and safety Tyvon Branch to the injured reserve. One of them however may come back before it is all said and done.
Let’s be honest though. This team still hasn’t jelled like the 2014 one has though. Remember, they were 9-1. This team is 3-4-1 and has not had any of the consistency the Cardinals experienced over the first half of 2014.
The good news is, the rest of the NFC isn’t running away either. What once looked like a daunting schedule over the second half of the season, still looks winnable.
With the San Francisco 49ers after the bye week, then trips to face the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons, these next few weeks will determine if the Cardinals can make a December run.
The Vikings have lost two in a row after starting 5-0. The Falcons are 5-3. The Cardinals also have trips to face the Miami Dolphins who are currently 3-4, and the Seattle Seahawks and Rams to end the season. Both are winnable games.
Don’t give up on the Cardinals yet Birdgang. The Cardinals need to help themselves though. The offensive line must protect Palmer better. Palmer played maybe his best game last Sunday despite the offensive line’s performance.
They can’t shoot themselves with penalties. They need to stay healthy most importantly. At this rate, the team will hardly resemble the one that broke training camp in August when they finish the season in Los Angeles on New Year’s Day.