Look out for the Cardinals
One of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year is the Arizona Cardinals.
With a 3-0 record, they are one of the lone undefeated teams left in the league, and they haven’t been beating pushovers to get there.
So far, they have made a last-second comeback against the Seattle Seahawks, defeated the New England Patriots, and dominated the “dream team” Philadelphia Eagles.
These Cardinals are on a roll, and I believe that they will continue to win the games they should and, perhaps, they will even give the San Francisco 49ers a run for their money in the NFC West.
The play of veteran quarterback, Kevin Kolb, is one of the main reasons the team is currently riding a winning streak.
After coming in for an injured John Skelton and leading the Cardinals to a last minute victory over the Seahawks, Kolb has proven capable of pulling out wins.
He may not have the eye-popping stats like Patriots QB Tom Brady, but he has not turned the ball over this year and sometimes that is all you need to do. With the strong play of Kolb, coupled with Skelton’s imminent return from injury, there is now a quarterback controversy in Arizona.
Another reason the Cardinals were able to win their first three games is the play of their defence.
The defence is causing turnovers and is consistently applying pressure to opposing QBs. They have held two elite offences – the Eagles and the Patriots – to a total of 24 points, keeping their own offence on the field as long as possible.
Their D-line is also finding success applying pressure, and has produced sacks in key situations. Second-year corner back Patrick Peterson is one of the most exciting players in the game today and is an asset on defence. The play of the Cardinal defence might be more impressive than the play of their offence.
Speaking of their offence, veteran wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, finally came alive this week against the Eagles, and that’s scary news for opposing teams.
Fitzgerald has been one of the most dominant receivers in the league and catches almost everything that is thrown to him. He was kept in check for the first few weeks but still managed to rack up over 100 yards and a touchdown for the first time this year. If he gets on a roll, he is probably the No. 1 receiver in the game today. I’m looking forward to seeing him the rest of the year, especially if he puts up the numbers he’s capable of putting up.
Another reason for Arizona’s impressive roll is head coach, Ken Wisenhunt. He is one of the more underrated coaches in the league.
Wisenhunt is responsible for making sure his team is prepared week by week and is motivated to do their jobs. After Skelton went down, many people thought their team was going to be in trouble, but Wisenhunt has his team believing. Due in part to his positive attitude, he is one of the main reasons they are 3-0.
The Arizona Cardinals are a team that can get on a roll and get into the playoffs even though many people wrote them off. They are a team that believes in themselves and have a lot of underrated talent on the field. While they may not win the Super Bowl this year, they can make some noise in this league. Look out for the Cardinals.
Don’t look too deeply into Arizona’s record
The Arizona Cardinals have managed to culminate a 3-0 record throughout the first three weeks of this NFL season, but that doesn’t mean anything.
While the teams the Cardinals have defeated were highly touted coming into this season, I still don’t see these Cards as a legitimate threat in the NFL or even the NFC.
The Cardinals offense is by no means something to fear. The wins the Cards have collected are somewhat questionable. And let us not forget the way this Arizona team’s schedule will play out. The path to winning the NFC West division, the NFC, and the Super Bowl is not in the favor of the Cardinals.
Arizona has a sub-par offense that, when it comes down to it, should not be able to go toe to toe with any powerhouse offenses in this league.
The Cards are an embarrassing 31st in yards per game at 263.3; they are 29th overall passing yardage at 181 per game, and 27th overall rushing yardage at 82.3 yards per game.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that to score touchdowns you need far more yardage than that. Veteran wide receivers, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts have emerged as the only true threats that the Cardinals have on their offense, but to get the ball to these guys the Cardinals need to put their hopes on the shoulders of signal caller, Kevin Kolb.
The victories achieved so far for the Cardinals aren’t exactly convincing. Week one, the Cardinals squeaked by a Seattle Seahawks team who, in all fairness, are still in search of their true identity.
The Cardinals also held home field advantage, which appears to be a very huge factor in the way this season is playing out thus far. Week two, the Cardinals were lucky enough to watch Stephen Gostkowski kick a very rare missed field goal. This was a game where Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, outgunned Kolb for 176 more yards and 13 more completions. Running back Stevan Ridley outran Beanie Wells by 27 yards, and receivers Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski combined for 11 catches and 170 yards compared to the Cards top two receivers of the game, Todd Heap and Early Doucet, who only grabbed eight catches for 83 yards.
Heck, the Patriots even won the turnover battle. This was just one of those games that the football Gods were not allowing the Patriots to win.
As far as the Cardinals week three game goes against the Eagles, I honestly saw that win coming. The Eagles are nowhere near as good as they are hyped up to be. It’s because of these reasons that the Cardinals record doesn’t have me convinced that they’re for real just yet.
With 13 games remaining, the Cardinals have quite the schedule to finish out the season. From week eight to week 11, the Cardinals go up against the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers, and the Atlanta Falcons.
If Carolina still holds a decent record after Atlanta, my mind may change a bit, but that’s only test one. Test two comes about in week 13 where they travel to New York to face the Jets, and then they go to the ever-intimidating land of the Seahawks.
They then host Detroit and Chicago who are seen as upper-echelon NFC teams, and then close out their season against the 49ers – obviously never an easy task.
To summarize, I don’t think fans should look too deeply into the team’s present record. I also don’t believe that the Cardinals offense is anywhere near ready to compete against the big boys. And to close out, I feel that there is no way that these Cardinals can face the tasks they have at hand and come out as a team to be reckoned with by the end of it all.
Though I will be honest, I hope I’m wrong. It’s fun watching the come-out-of-nowhere team.