As all 32 training camps opened last Thursday, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has one objective in mind: knock out the Seattle Seahawks. When you look at the state of the NFC West division, the Seattle Seahawks organization is the 800 lb. gorilla with very little opposition to win the NFC West crown and it’s safe to assume if they can break the curse of being the Seahawks’ “maid of honor”, they can make some noise in the playoffs and possibly make a run to the Super Bowl. Let’s break down some factors the Cardinals will face this 2017 season…….
How much does Carson Palmer have left in the tank?!?
The 2002 Heisman Trophy winner is entering in his 15th year and I’m sure that #3 (not D. Ernhardt) is more determined and motivated to cap off his playing career by taking home a Lombardi trophy. Looking back at the 2005 season, Palmer felt that they (then Bengals) were going to get past the 1st round of the playoffs against those Black and Gold bullies, they were Super Bowl bound.
Then came a guy named Kimo.
Ever since then, Carson has spent most of career off and on injured reserve and the Cardinals have been looming around the bubble and they just can’t get in the bubble. Palmer will not have his big receiver in Michael Floyd (thanks to a DUI and release) but he still has trust and faith in Larry Fitzgerald and top fantasy draft pick in David Johnson. DJ, a dual threat both in and out of the backfield help move the ball downfield and move the chains who is also the workhorse of the Cardinal offense but Palmer will need more help. LF is getting up in age (however he’s not slowing down) and for a team that rank 9th in passing (258.5 yds/game). John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Jermaine Gresham all have to step their games up to counter Seattle’s nasty secondary led by Richard Sherman.
Will the Cardinals defense please stand up
We all heard about and know about the injury bug and that bug must’ve brought some of its relatives to that locker room to disrupt the Cards defense. The honey badger (Mathieu) went down last season which his presence covered one-third of the defensive side of the field. CB Ronald Zamort just recently went down this preseason with a torn ACL and they re-signed CB Tramon Williams (from Cleveland) to a contract and Patrick Patterson need some serious help. They have some insurance in SS Antoine Bethea to prevent any plays over the top and not let any balls get past him. To sum up the defense, Karlos Dansby will have to not only be a compliment to the defense but he has to be the glue to try to keep that unit intact, otherwise it’ll be a “patch and play” season.
Backup QB’s Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert should remain warmed up on the sidelines. Carson Palmer is 37 years old and time is running out for the former Trojan. The average 37 year old QB is the backup and offensive guru and head coach Bruce Arians has complete trust and faith in Carson. The front office dropped the ball in trying to get a top pick in Trubisky or Watson. The offensive line better get their act if they want to protect their QB, let alone be in the park of winning a football game......
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