The Arizona Cardinals won’t be the same team that made it to their first Super Bowl two years ago but they will still have a legitimate chance to win the NFC West. The main reason Arizona has a legitimate chance to win the NFC West is because the division is a two team race between Arizona and the San Francisco 49ers.
Arizona Loses Key Players on Offense & Defense
Arizona will lose stars on both sides of the ball. On offense, Arizona loses their leader and one of the most accurate passers in NFL history, quarterback Kurt Warner. Also on offense, Arizona loses their long time steady receiver Anquan Boldin. Although Boldin saw less production with Larry Fitzgerald as the number one receiver he was still a solid number two for Arizona. Neil Rackers also departs as Arizona’s kicker replaced by Jay Feely.
The leader on defense, linebacker Karlos Dansby, also departs the Arizona Cardinals. Dansby’s departure leaves a huge void as the leader of an opportunistic Arizona defense. Also leaving a hole in the deep middle is free safety Antrel Rolle. Also leaving the defense was Bryant McFadden, at the corner position opposite All-Pro corner Antonio Rogers-Cromartie. McFadden was abused opposite Rogers Cromartie and never lived up to lofty expectations.
High Expectations May Haunt Matt Lienert’s First Full Season as Arizona Cardinals QB
Matt Lienert’s in a no win situation as the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. Lienert’s predecessor, Kurt Warner was one of the greatest quarterbacks at his position for his short time in the NFL. Leinert is actually several years behind schedule as the Arizona Cardinals franchise quarterback.
Leinert will have Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston as his number one and number two receivers but his targets will drop in skill after these two. Look for the Arizona offense to pass to their backs out of the backfield more to acclimate Leinert back into the NFL on a game by game basis.
Running Backs & Wide Receivers Will Have to Help Leinert
Chris “Beanie” Wells will have to put his durability issues to rest in the 2010 NFL season. Wells and his change of pace back Tim Hightower both struggled with protecting the ball in the 2009 NFL season. If the two continue to lose the football in key situations, the Arizona Cardinals will have a long season.
The Arizona Cardinals have the best wide receiver in the NFL with Larry Fitzgerald and with Steve Breaston as the number two receiver, Arizona has a solid one-two combination. How patient will Larry Fitzgerald be with a sub par quarterback in Matt Leinert?
Arizona missed the boat by not picking up an explosive wide receiver in the NFL Draft to take the heat off Fizgerald. They did take Andre Roberts out of Citadel but he is an unknown expected to fight for the number receiver spot.
Arizona Cardinals Have Dropped off the Radar of Las Vegas Oddsmakers
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook has posted the Arizona Cardinals as a 75-1 shot to win the Super Bowl. Amazing considering the Arizona Cardinals were in the Super Bowl two years previous and won their NFC West division in the 2009 NFL season.
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook also set the over/under win total for the Arizona Cardinals at 7.5 wins and their odds to repeat as the NFC West champs are 14-5. Arizona is in a cup cake division and they should manage seven to eight wins in the 2010 NFL season.
www.yahoosports.com Pro Football Weekly.
www.espn.go.com player profiles.
Las Vegas Hilton Superbook Over/Under totals and Picks.
Odds to win the 2011 Super Bowl.