A struggling NFC West gives the Cardinals a fighting chance
Sep 20, 2017, 2:41 PM | Updated: 3:56 pm
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
After watching every game involving an NFC West team, I’ve come to two conclusions that seem to contradict.
1.) The Arizona Cardinals are an average football team.
2.) The Arizona Cardinals are the best team in the NFC West.
Sample size warning! After two games, there’s very little hard information to go by, so it’s mostly eye test. Everyone in the division has problems, but the Cardinals’ problems seem to be the easiest to fix, or, at least improve upon.
However, there are only two teams in the NFL to lose to an NFC West team: the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.
If you think of something that is driving you crazy about the Cardinals, it’s worse for other teams in the division. the Cardinals’ offensive line is bad. The Seahawks’ O-line is deplorable.
Carson Palmer has floated between average and sad but the highest-rated QB in the division is Jared Goff. Russell Wilson is 25, Palmer’s 29 and Brian Hoyer is 31 in the league. Arizona only scored 16 points in an overtime game, while San Francisco has scored 12 points all year! Seattle scored its first touchdown of the year in its eighth quarter of the season.
Seattle is giving up 5.2 yards per attempt. That’s a terrible rush defense. If you’re a Seattle fan, you might be happy to find out the teams with the worst rush defense are the two teams from last year’s Super Bowl. It raises a red flag for me because I see a Seahawks’ defense that wants to run up and hit everything but tackle nothing.
The Rams smashed the Colts in Week 1 but gave up 6.5 yards per carry to the Redskins’ Rob Kelley before the Washington running back left the game with an injury. Unfortunately, the Rams have the signature win of the whole division, and it’s against the Colts.
Almost every problem in the whole division can be fixed with better offensive line play. As I look through each team, it appears the Cardinals have the best chance of expecting more from their O-line. D.J. Humphries returning soon will dramatically help. More reps for Evan Boehm will only improve his communication and feel as a guard. Alex Boone actually having time to learn the offense will cement him ahead of Iupati. No one expected the weak link of the Cardinals’ season to be Jared Veldheer and Carson Palmer. If Veldheer plays better football, so will Palmer.
A better Palmer is all it will take to win a very weak division. It’s not very motivating but someone has to win the NFC West, it might as well be Arizona.