Arizona Cardinals: 3 players in NFC West who will make their lives rough
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals playoff lives are fading, and things will not get any easier with four division games in their near future.
The Arizona Cardinals are, once again, the weak sister in the NFC West. So much for having one of the best receivers in football return and dominate the game, or to have supposedly one of the best tandems at safety, or a talented duo at inside linebacker. Or a number one overall selection at quarterback.
At this point, you could have a Madden NFL-style fantasy draft, give the Cardinals the first pick in each round, and they would, at best, deliver mediocre results. Why? Because of the man currently stalking the sidelines and pretending he is a legit NFL head coach.
So until that changes, Cardinals fans can at least watch the following players in the NFC West help ensure head coach Kliff Kingsbury is not on the sidelines when the 2023 NFL Season kicks off. They will make life miserable for this Arizona team in 2022, but in the long run, we can thank each and every one of them if it means sending Kingsbury packing. Let’s meet these three players.
1 – Kenneth Walker III, Seattle
Walker has had his lean statistics, as have all running backs, but he has also enjoyed memorable performances so far this season, including a remarkable outing against the Cardinals in Week 6. Walker, despite struggling last week against the New York Giants, still had a monster play, shedding would-be tacklers and refusing to go down on his way to the end zone.
Over his last four games, Walker has five rushing touchdowns and 403 rushing yards. He won’t just make life tough for the Arizona Cardinals, but anyone he faces for the foreseeable future.
2 – Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco
So much for being the washed-up, injury-prone tailback that many in the Arizona Cardinals faithful thought (hoped) he’d be. McCaffrey just silenced his haters last Sunday when he ran for a score, caught a touchdown pass, and even threw one.
He also had 94 rushing yards (5.22 YPC) and another 55 yards through the air. Tack on his 34-yard passing touchdown, and McCaffrey was responsible for 183 total yards in the San Francisco 49ers 31-14 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Given the Cardinals inability to stop the run in recent weeks, McCaffrey, like Walker, will get his yards and plenty of them.
3 – Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson has been terrible, with a 2022 grade of 59.5 (22nd out of 37 centers) on PFF. To be fair, Hudson hasn’t played since the Cardinals 26-16 win over the Carolina Panthers, but you have to wonder whether he can stop the great Aaron Donald if healthy enough to play in the Cardinals next meeting with the Rams on November 13th.
While Donald has not enjoyed the same success in 2022 as he had seen over his first eight seasons, he could have a resurgent outing if the Cardinals continue to have issues along the offensive line.
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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)