2 - Can the Cardinals get and stay healthy?
As previously mentioned, the myth is that the Arizona Cardinals are tanking and because they are 1-8, the season has been going “according to plan.” The fact is that the Cardinals were forced to place some key players on injured reserve like Budda Baker and James Conner, and they also lost key contributors on the defensive line for the entire season in the opening weeks of 2023.
The Cardinals were also forced to go without a talented cornerback in Garrett Williams because of his own injury, and of course, they couldn’t play Kyler Murray. Now that everyone is healthy with James Conner perhaps being the next in line, the Cards can and will pull off some upsets thanks to the fact they’re veering closer to full strength.
3 - Which rookies will make the biggest impact?
Dante Stills has been eye-catching lately, but he’s also on a weak unit, so chances are that he posts rather steady numbers. Garrett Williams has been awesome so far since he debuted against the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s showing support in pass AND run coverage - with PFF giving him an outstanding 75.5 run defense grade.
Pro-Football-Reference has Williams allowing just five catches on 11 targets for 39 yards, which averages to just 3.5 yards per target and 7.8 yards per completion, plus a 16.9 passer rating. Look for Williams to perhaps lock down the CB1 job come season’s end when he keeps up his monumental play.
Michael Wilson is another one that has been sensational this year, and if he stays healthy, he may be the best in the entire bunch.