2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: ARIZONA CARDINALS
ARIZONA CARDINALS (NFC West)
2016 record: 7-8-1 (4-1-1 in division)
KEY ADDITIONS: (R) Hasson Reddick, LB Karlos Dansby, K Phil Dawson, SS Antoine Bethea, QB Blaine Gabbert
KEY DEPARTURES: DE Calais Campbell, LB Daryl Washington, SS D.J. Swearinger
2016 SEASON RECAP
Entering the 2016 season after an NFC Championship game appearance in 2015, the Cardinals had Super Bowl aspirations. The Loss of FS Tyrann Mathieu to injury hurt the team but even before he went down, the team wasn’t hitting on all cylinders like they did in 2015. QB Carson Palmer looked old at times and the offense wasn’t as crisp and dangerous as we’ve come accustomed to seeing from a Bruce Arian coached team.
WR Larry Fitzgerald (107 rec 1,023 yards and 6 TDs) had another great year. Fitz seems to just get better with age. Speaking of better, the 2015 season was a breakout year for RB David Johnson. In 2016 he was even better, DJ was arguably the best running back in the NFL. Johnson had 2,118 total yards and 20 TDs.
2017 SEASON PREVIEW
The Cardinals are alot better than the below .500 record they posted in 2016. David Johnson has made it known that he has his eye on a 1,000 – 1,000 season in 2017. He fell short by just 121 receiving yards last year so it is entirely possible. Larry Fitzgerald still heads a very dangerous receiving group that has deep threats J.J. Nelson and John Brown.
1st round draft pick Hasson Reddick looks to come in and bolster a once dominate defense back to the top of the NFL. The team starts the season with 3 of their first 5 games on the road and their first home game is against the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys. Health is always a concern with the Cardinals, if they can stay fairly healthy, expect them to be in the thick on the NFC West division title race.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
RB David Johnson, QB Carson Palmer, OLB Hasson Reddick, FS Tyrann Mathieu, WR Larry Fitzgerald, CB Patrick Peterson
2017 RECORD PREDICTION
11 – 5