September 8, 2009

2009 NFL Preview: Arizona Cardinals

Here's the previous installments. We have seven previews left before the start of the season. And frankly, I'm tired of doing these. So the NFC West and AFC West will get a little short change. But who really cares? There are only about three teams out west that people give a damn about, so let's get this thing going.

More of the same: Even though the Cardinals reached the Super Bowl last season and there is a renewed interest in the team, the owner is still a complete idiot. Bill Bidwell didn't want to give Kurt Warner a raise, so Warner went to the 49ers for a deal. The thing is though, Warner didn't want to leave. He wants to play for Arizona, but because Bidwell is so cheap he almost chased away his franchise quarterback.

And like what happens always to Bidwell, the move blew up in his face. Warner talked with the 49ers thus driving up his price. So Bidwell had to give more money to Warner to get him resigned. The more that changes, the more that stays the same.

A running game?: Any team with Kurt Warner doesn't need to run the ball, but it would be nice. And that is exactly what Arizona thought when they used this year's first round draft choice to take running back Chris Wells. Wells and Tim Hightower are expected to run the ball more this season to take pressure off of the passing game.

The Line: The offensive line was the big reason why Arizona had the year they had. They are unheralded but efficient enough to give Warner enough time to make his throws. They allowed the 2nd fewest sacks per game in the league behind Tennessee. Levi Brown has improved in his three seasons in the league and Mike Gandy gives the line the veteran presence they need.

Departures: Like every Super Bowl team, there was a lot of departures in Arizona. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley accepted the Kansas City job. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast followed Haley to Kansas City. Arizona will miss Haley's play calling and intensity on the sidelines. Also veteran defensive lineman Antonio Smith also left. His departure will hurt this team more than Haley's.

Smith anchored the defensive line that was vastly improved last season. Smith was a disruptive force on the line and was one of the locker room leaders. Smith will be the most missed in Arizona.

Schedule: Arizona isn't helped out by an early bye week. Arizona will play San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Indianapolis before their bye week. Most teams prefer their bye in the middle of the season. And early bye though hurts a team. If a team needs to rest and recover from early season injuries, but have already had their bye week, that doesn't help. Other than that though, Arizona's schedule is pretty soft. Their toughest road game is at New York against the Giants and at Tennessee. The rest of their toughest opponents have to travel to the desert.

Video: This is still an amazing play from an amazing Super Bowl.

Prediction, 8-8, 2nd NFC West: This is still the Seahawks division. And with Seattle recovering from last year's injuries and an improved receiving corps, it will once again become their division. Warner is just too inconsistent. He has a great year then he has a bad year. Plus loses on the defense will hurt this team in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it, but I agree with you with the previews. I'll do the Seahawks one right now, if you want...