The 2017 Arizona Sports Cardinals/NFL Season Preview
Sep 8, 2017, 9:10 AM | Updated: 4:26 pm
At long last, the 2017 NFL season is here!
For fans of the Arizona Cardinals, it’s a chance to forget about, well, a forgettable 2016 season in which their team fell short of astronomical expectations placed on it.
For the rest of the league, it’s a chance to try and knock off the rolling locomotive of the New England Patriots, who completed a historic 25-point comeback to win Super Bowl LI in Houston — the franchise’s fifth title in the Belichick-Brady era. No other team has won more than two Lombardi Trophies in that span.
The on-air staff of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station put its collective prognostication cap on and has provided insight on the prospects for the Cardinals and what the rest of the league could like.
We’ll start with a look at what the guys think about the 2017 edition of the #Birdgang.
11-5: 4 votes
10-6: 5 votes
9-7: 1 vote
All of our panelists have the Cardinals notching a winning record, which would be the team’s fourth in five years under head coach Bruce Arians.
Yes: 2 votes
No: 8 votes
Of our panel, only Bertrand Berry and Dave Burns think Johnson will make history in becoming the third running back to accomplish the feat. Burnsy added background.
“At first I said no. But after thinking about it, I decided to backspace and delete my initial answer and say yes. B.A. is such a creative play caller and the commitment is there to involve him extensively. I think he’ll be close enough by the end of the season that they will make a concerted effort to get him those numbers,” he said.
While only 20 percent of the panel thinks the third-year back will get 1,000 each rushing and receiving, the average projection still has him going over 2,000 total yards.
Johnson led the NFL with 2,118 yards from scrimmage a year ago, but fell 121 yards short of 1,000 in the passing game.
Markus Golden: 5.5 votes
Chandler Jones: 4.5 votes
The Cardinals are blessed with two dynamic edge pass rushers. In fact, Golden and Jones are the only teammates who both had double-digit QB sacks last season.
Doug Franz predicted that each outside linebacker will have 12 sacks, thus the half-vote.
Respondents who chose Golden predict an average of 14.2 sacks. Those who chose Jones project 14.3.
Either way, that’s a lot of sacks!
Robert Nkemdiche: 3 votes
Jaron Brown: 2 votes
Budda Baker: 1 vote
Justin Bethel: 1 vote
Jermaine Gresham: 1 vote
Josh Mauro: 1 vote
Olsen Pierre: 1 vote
As you can see, there was a wide variety of answers given by the panel, but three (Franz, Gambo, Lapinski) are banking on Nkemdiche, the physically gifted defensive tackle from Ole Miss, who is entering his second year in the league.
Offensive Line: 6 votes
Wide Receivers: 2 votes
Cornerbacks: 1 vote
Inside Linebackers: 1 vote
The majority picks the offensive line — and based on a roster move this week, the Cardinals may agree. Steve Keim went out and signed veteran guard Alex Boone, who should initially provide depth, but most believe he’ll eventually take over for starter Evan Boehm. Protecting Carson Palmer is of paramount importance every season, so the onus falls on this group to perform.
Jaron Brown: 5 votes
John Brown: 5 votes
Even though the team says he’s ready to go and despite his two-touchdown performance in a preseason win over Atlanta, there is still a lot of concern about John Brown’s future. When healthy, he’s the Cardinals’ second-best receiver, as evidenced by a 1,000-yard season on his résumé. Jaron Brown, who himself is coming off of ACL surgery, has never had more than 22 catches in a single NFL season.
National Football Conference
|Host||NFC West||NFC East||NFC North||NFC South||NFC Wild Card||NFC Wild Card||NFC Championship|
|Bertrand Berry||Cardinals||Giants||Packers||Falcons||Panthers||Seahawks||Packers over Cardinals|
|Dan Bickley||Seahawks||Cowboys||Packers||Buccaneers||Cardinals||Giants||Cowboys over Seahawks|
|Dave Burns||Seahawks||Eagles||Packers||Buccaneers||Cardinals||Vikings||Packers over Seahawks|
|Paul Calvisi||Cardinals||Giants||Packers||Falcons||Seahawks||Vikings||Packers over Seahawks|
|Doug Franz||Seahawks||Cowboys||Packers||Panthers||Cardinals||Giants||Packers over Seahawks|
|John Gambadoro||Seahawks||Giants||Packers||Falcons||Cardinals||Buccaneers||Packers over Falcons|
|Mike Jurecki||Seahawks||Giants||Packers||Falcons||Cardinals||Cowboys||Seahawks over Falcons|
|Luke Lapinski||Seahawks||Giants||Packers||Panthers||Cardinals||Cowboys||Seahawks over Giants|
|Vince Marotta||Seahawks||Giants||Packers||Buccaneers||Falcons||Cardinals||Packers over Giants|
|Ron Wolfley||Cardinals||Giants||Vikings||Panthers||Seahawks||Packers||Panthers over Packers|
American Football Conference
|Host||AFC West||AFC East||AFC North||AFC South||AFC Wild Card||AFC Wild Card||AFC Championship|
|Bertrand Berry||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Texans||Chiefs||Titans||Patriots over Raiders|
|Dan Bickley||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Texans||Chiefs||Bengals||Raiders over Steelers|
|Dave Burns||Chiefs||Patriots||Steelers||Titans||Raiders||Texans||Patriots over Steelers|
|Paul Calvisi||Chiefs||Patriots||Steelers||Texans||Raiders||Ravens||Patriots over Steelers|
|Doug Franz||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Texans||Chiefs||Ravens||Patriots over Raiders|
|John Gambadoro||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Titans||Chiefs||Texans||Steelers over Patriots|
|Mike Jurecki||Chiefs||Patriots||Steelers||Titans||Raiders||Texans||Patriots over Steelers|
|Luke Lapinski||Chiefs||Patriots||Steelers||Titans||Raiders||Ravens||Patriots over Steelers|
|Vince Marotta||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Titans||Chiefs||Broncos||Patriots over Steelers|
|Ron Wolfley||Raiders||Patriots||Steelers||Texans||Ravens||Chiefs||Patriots over Steelers|
Super Bowl LII
|Host||Super Bowl Champ||OVER||Runner-up|