Bummer the Cardinals aren’t in another division or they would have been a playoff team. In the NFC West their 10-6 record wasn’t good enough. Meanwhile, in the NFC North, the 8-7-1 Green Bay Packers not only won the division but hosted a playoff game in 2013. This brings up an interesting question: Does the NFL Playoff system need to be restructured? I don’t think so. I like it the way it is and hope that damn Roger Goddell leaves it alone.
Carson Palmer returns as the starting QB, as do his two favorite targets Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Fitzgerald has been one of the best receivers in the league for 10 years now and always seems to puts up big numbers no matter how terrible his quarterback is; and he’s had some bad ones over the years. Palmer is an average qb and he’s been the best one Fitz has had in years. This goes to show you how good he really is.
Rashard Mendenhall surprisingly retired at age 26, which leaves second year Andre Ellington as the leading back. Ellington showed some flashes last season, averaging an impressive 5.5 yards a carry. He is expected to be a star for them. We will see if he pans out.
Arizona’s defense was stout last year: 6th overall in yards allowed and 7th overall in points allowed. Losing arguably their two best defenders Darnell Dockett for the year (to a torn an ACL), and Karlos Dansby (who lead the team in tackles) to free agency could be a huge blow to those stats.
They have a really good secondary that still makes the defense elite. Patrick Peterson is one of the best cornerbacks in the game. He has been a Pro Bowler in all 3 of his years in the league. Not only as a corner but also as a kick returner. The addition of free agent and former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie gives this team one of the best duo’s in the league.
This is the best division in football by far. Once again 10-6 might not be good enough. They will need 11. I can see 10 wins probably not 11.
Click on the logo below to see the next team in Hawk’s 2014 NFL Preview: NFC West Edition: The St Louis Rams: