Hawk’s preview of the NFC West, which includes the Arizona Cardinals, St Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks (who’ll get their own preview next)
Arizona was easily the most surprising team of the year in 2014. Through 9 games they were 8-1 and a favorite to win the NFC behind Carson Palmer, but in a week 10 game against the Rams the quarterback was done for the year with a torn ACL. Backup QB Drew Stanton started in his place, he looked good at times but was wildly inconsistent and he too would get injured, leaving Ryan Lindley as the starting QB and he was terrible. Arizona would drop 4 of their last 6 and finish 11-5, only good enough for a wildcard against the Panthers, where they would lose 27-16 in historically terrible fashion. As a team they only had 78 total yards, a playoff record low.
Arizona expects Palmer to be completely healthy and follow up a season in which he threw for 1,626 yards, 11 Td’s and 3 Int’s in only 6 games, and boy will they need him.