CV- Watch Out for the Arizona Cardinals


Last year, the Browns were supposed to take over the AFC North. They fell flat on their faces en route to a 6-10 record and a third-place finish. One team I expect this year to have a Browns-type turnaround without that failure is the Arizona Cardinals.

They enter year two of the Kyler Murray/Kliff Kingsbury era but with more firepower. They shipped off David Johnson to bring in all-pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to go along with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. They also get a full year now of Kenyan Drake, who last year in eight games led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns.

On defense, they drafted Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson and signed Budda Baker, 24, to the richest contract in NFL history for a safety.

While the defense won't be that of the '85 Bears, I do expect them to take a step forward as they were the last ranked defense in the league, giving up over 400 yards per game last season. Injuries, suspensions, and learning a new defense all played parts in the defensive struggles last season.

Towards the end of the year, Patrick Peterson felt that the team started to mesh and he feels that is huge for the team this year, "Does that mean anything?" Peterson said. "You're damn right it means something." (Via AZCardinals.com)

Something else that I believe will help the Cardinals this season is the lack of a home-field advantage. On their schedule this year is road games with the Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys, and Patriots to name a few. With crowds either being held to limited capacity or no fans at all, that provides a big boost for the road teams, especially ones with young quarterbacks.

The Cardinals play in one of the toughest divisions in football with the Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers. Nobody knows what to make of the Rams while the Seahawks seem to always want to take the ball out of Russell Wilson's hands on top of not being able to block for him.

This Cardinals offense certainly won't be a problem and the defense will absolutely be improved. The addition of another playoff spot also gives the Cardinals a great chance to make the playoffs this season.

There's no chatter coming out of Arizona like there was with the Browns and they have a lot more talent on this roster and to me, that will lead them to a playoff birth this season.

PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES


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