Cardinals ranked 25th in early power rankings
The Arizona Cardinals finished the 2011 season with an 8-8
However, that did not stop Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk, in his
preseason power rankings, from putting the Cardinals 25th.
There are only 32 teams in the NFL.
Silva notes that while the Cardinals are fairly strong at
wide receiver and have playmakers on defense, their
weaknesses — mainly at running back (health), quarterback
(inconsistency) and offensive line (overall poor play) —
could ultimately be the team’s downfall.
Behind perhaps only quarterback, offensive line play is
the biggest concern in Arizona. Kolb tends to get happy
feet in the pocket amid unsound protection, and pass
blocking was a major problem for the 2011 Cards. Football
Outsiders graded the Cardinals’ offensive line as 15th
best in run blocking, but a lowly 27th in pass protection.
Arizona shook up its front five this offseason, but none
of the moves inspired much confidence.
That’s fair, though even with shaky QB play last season
the Cardinals seemed to do alright. While no one is saying
they will make a Super Bowl run without improvement at the
position, to rank them among the league’s worst teams
still seems a bit off.
Silva notes that the Cardinals did not make a lot of
big changes over the offseason, and instead are hoping
“continuity throughout the coaching staff will expedite
in-house improvement across the roster.”
Sounds about right, and if the final games of last season
are any indication, that may very well be what happens.
Ultimately, Silva says the Cardinals’ season will come
down to getting consistent QB play. If it happens, he
notes, the team will surpass his expectations. He just
doesn’t believe it will happen.