The Arizona Cardinals won 10 games in 2013, narrowly missing the playoffs but proving that they were not a team to be taken lightly.
They won’t be the same in 2014, however, and while they’ve certainly upgraded in a lot of areas, they’ve also lost some key players from last year’s squad.
“We’re a completely different team than we were last year,” Cardinals QB Carson Palmer told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday.
Palmer said given the losses the defense suffered, with Karlos Dansby leaving for Cleveland and Daryl Washington being suspended for the season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the offense will be leaned on a bit more than it was last season, saying the team’s dynamics have changed.
“Our defense is going to be very, very good, and our offense has to be very, very good,” he said. “And we expect to be very, very good offensively.”
Last season was really a tale of two halves for the Cardinals’ offense. Arizona averaged 19 points per game through the first seven, struggling to a 3-4 record. However, over the final name games — of which the Cards won seven — they averaged 27.3 points per game.
The improvement coincided with the defense finding its groove and Palmer being comfortable in the offense, with the latter fact being what has people excited heading into the new season.
After all, if the the light really did come on for the veteran in the back half of 2013, it’s reasonable to assume the offense will continue moving forward in 2014.
It will have to if the Cardinals are going to break through in a very difficult NFC West.
“Every year is different,” Palmer said. “You always lose a player or two and you gain a player or two, but losing two guys in the middle of your defense is difficult.
“But we’re excited about having that challenge and moving on.”