Thursday, August 16, 2012

32 in 32: Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
Read the introduction here
Read the Seahawks preview here
Dallas Cowboys tomorrow

2011 Record: 8-8

Key Acquisitions: Michael Floyd, William Gay, Quentin Groves, James Sanders, Adam Snyder
Key Departures: Deuce Lutui, Rex Hadnot, Richard Marshall

John Skelton is better than Kevin Kolb. Larry Fitzgerald can testify to that. 2-6 with Kolb, 6-2 with Skelton. No competition. Speaking of Larry Fitzgerald, is he masochistic? Does this man enjoy playing for this team? If so, we need to get him a psychologist. He has such amazing talent and if he played with a good quarterback, he could be one of the best receivers of all time. This defense looks better than expected, and this team in general looks to be very inconsistent. I can see all of the pieces coming together perfectly and beating a really good team, yet I can also see them collapsing against a terrible team. This is the Cardinal way. They are who we think they are. This isn't going to be a great year, too much going on, especially with the QB situation and with the 49ers as good as they are.

In addition to being inferior to Skelton, Kolb is never healthy. His history with concussions is very alarming, so it's very hard to trust him with the starting QB role. When he is on the field, he's not very good at seeing the defense. His interceptions are just terrible ones because his vision isn't great. Skelton also has better chemistry with the best receiver on the team (and arguably in football).

I really hope that Ryan Williams stays healthy this year. I predicted that he would be the Rookie of the Year last year and that prediction had to be changed during the Preseason. It looks like he and Beanie Wells will form a nice combination. Wells looked much better last season. Until then, I had been pretty disappointed with him performance in the pros, as most people were.

There's Fitzgerald. Then there's Early Doucet. Last year was his best season yet, and it looks like he can build on that. With Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin out of the way, he finally got to be the direct beneficiary to the double coverage on Larry. That will continue this year.

I can't really say anything bad about Todd Heap (except a giant laugh at all my friends that are Ravens fans) and he's been very solid throughout his career. He has pretty good hands, especially for a tight end.

This offensive line looks to be a weak spot on this team. Levi Brown has been pretty good, and Adam Snyder is a really versatile lineman. Other than that, Skelton/Kolb will be on their backs a lot. Yet another reason why Kolb shouldn't start. He gets hurt way too much to deal with this line.

Calais Campbell had a breakout year last year, and he still manages to be underrated. He's not just really good at getting sacks, he's also skilled enough to be a very good run stopper, as he was last year. Part of the reason why Campbell doesn't get enough credit, is because Darnell Dockett gets enough credit (deservedly so) for this whole defensive line. He's a very good end who is big enough to hold his own in the middle, which he did for the beginning of his career. Vonnie Holliday is fine, but I'm not going to praise him too much (because he doesn't deserve it). Quentin Groves and Clark Haggans have proven that they belong in the starting lineup for an NFL team. Both are very good, and Haggans still plays defense as if he is a Steeler (which is very good).

I love Patrick Peterson. He's not just a great special teams player, who's a defensive playmaker. He always finds a way to be near the ball on defense. That's helped by his great speed. Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson are a great tandem at the back. Wilson is one of the best safeties in the NFL.

Special Teams
The always outspoken Jay Feely also happens to be a reliable kicker. Not the most powerful leg ever, but he makes them when he needs to. Dave Zastudil has been cut by the Browns in his career. That's not a ringing endorsement on your punting abilities. I've already talked about Patrick Peterson and my love for him. Expect more touchdowns this season.

5-11, 3rd in NFC West

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