3 reasons why NFL experts should not sleep on the Cardinals in 2021

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Kyler Murray
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Kyler Murray /
2 of 4
Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Matthew Stafford /

NFC West rivals could struggle

The Rams are favored by those 29 experts to win the NFC West this season. Only they traded for a quarterback in Matthew Stafford with an 0-3 playoff record in addition to never leading a team to a division title. Add to the fact that Stafford has struggled with injuries during his career, and Los Angeles has quite the quagmire.

It doesn’t help that the Rams recently lost running back Cam Akers to a season-ending injury, only to replace him in the backfield with Sony Michel, who has struggled with injuries himself during his NFL career. Yes, Los Angeles will likely have one of the best defenses in football this year in addition to having the best defensive player in defensive tackle Aaron Donald. But the Rams are more of a boom or bust than anything else.

The  49ers will play rookie quarterback Trey Lance at some point in the season. And while they boast a lot of talent, San Francisco also has a brewing quarterback controversy. Historically, quarterback controversies will set teams back. Lance won’t ride the bench long though, especially if Jimmy Garoppolo struggles early.

But what if Lance struggles? Sure, the rookie had his moments in the preseason this year. But there were also times where he looked like an FCS quarterback with only 17 starts on his resume, none of which came against an FBS team.

The Seahawks had just three draft picks this year, two of which came on Day 3. Other than signing tight end Gerald Everett from the Rams, what did they really do this offseason? Sure, they have an intriguing connection between Russell Wilson and D.K. Metcalf. But other than guys like Tyler Lockett, Seattle has little to be excited about on offense.

Jamal Adams, as usual, is the centerpiece of the Seahawks defense. Carlos Dunlap and Quandre Diggs are also Pro Bowl-caliber. But despite the talent, Seattle ranked 22nd in total defense in 2020, and 31st in pass defense.