The Arizona Cardinals finished 8-8 last season. Their fans should be optimistic.
With the absence of LB Chandler Jones, the Arizona Cardinals still finished 3rd in sacks per game in the NFL last season. In March, they signed veteran DE JJ Watt and this of course means torture for opposing offenses this upcoming fall.
Birds Eye View
The NFC West is a changing division with many up and coming teams. The 49ers are refurbishing after taking a few steps back due to injuries last season, the Rams have a new QB in town, and the Seahawks have a discontent team leader who wants out of Seattle. With this said, while the Cardinals aren't the most alluring team in the NFC West, they possess the confidence, camaraderie, and personnel to win the division.
Brentson André Buckner -
Defensive line Coach Arizona Cardinals
"Great pass rushers don't have to have a whole lot of moves... they just have to have something you can't stop. That's what JJ Watt has..... long arms and a willingness to keep on fighting."
Key Defensive Players to watch for in 2021
- S Budda Baker
- DB Malcom Butler
- LB Markus Golden
- DB Robert Alford
Kliff Kingsbury's Brilliance
Sticking to his RPO play style from the NCAA, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury made work of defenses in 2020. The Cards finished 6th in Total YPG and 7th in rushing YPG. They gave a farewell to HB Kenyan Drake for head scratching reasons but brought in HB James Conner and retained HB Chase Edmonds as backfield threats. Both men are very flexible and can be utilized in HB Screens and underneath check-downs.
HB James Conner 1/yr $1,750,000 contract.
Cards Play Style
The Cardinals prefer to play ahead, getting early leads and forcing opponents to defend their RPO plays. They now have two possession WR's on both sides of the ball in WR DeAndre Hopkins & A.J Green. In addition, they have a deep threat slot receiver in WR Christian Kirk. Arizona will be more than comfortable running 3 WR offensive packaging and will likely use rookie WR Rondale Moore out of the backfield, in motion outside and in screen plays. While tremendous hype is surrounding the LA Rams and their acquisition of Matthew Stafford, I honestly believe the Cardinals are the best team in the NFC West. What are your thoughts?