A Stout Defense
While Bradford is largely regarded as a skilled passer that has failed to put it all together, he has consistently done one thing well: take care of the ball. In his 7 seasons as a starting quarterback, Bradford has never thrown more than fifteen interceptions in a single season.
Like most quarterbacks, Bradford’s largest turnover total came in his rookie campaign, in which he threw fifteen picks. In the years since, Bradford has consistently avoided turnovers. In 2016, Bradford’s last healthy season, he finished with an impressive 99.3 passer rating, while only throwing five interceptions. While Bradford has taken criticism for being overly conservative at times, his calculated approach may fit perfectly with an aggressive Cardinals defense.
With Steve Wilks at the helm, look for the Cardinals defense to post impressive numbers. While the team is making the switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, there may be a brief adjustment period early in the season. But with a healthy Markus Golden and the NFL’s leading sack man Chandler Jones, look for Arizona to consistently apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks and capitalize on turnover opportunities.
Despite the loss of dynamic safety Tyrann Mathieu, I still believe the Cardinals have a chance to be one of the most opportune secondaries in the league. Look for safety Buddha Baker to play a more prominent role on defense, and with All-Pro Cornerback Patrick Peterson leading the way, I expect to see a ballhawking secondary in the desert.
Bradford may never become the quarterback that talent evaluators expected him to be, but in Arizona he doesn’t need to be. If Bradford can take care of the ball and capitalize on short field opportunities, I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals in the thick of the NFC playoff race this upcoming season.