The Arizona Cardinals won 11 games last season, and if not for a rash of injuries, very well could have won the NFC West (and maybe more).
So, it stands to reason they have some pretty good players on the roster.
According to NFL.com’s Dave Dameshek, that’s exactly the case.
In a piece naming the All-NFC West Team, Dameshek gives the Cardinals plenty of love.
In all, six Arizona players are on the list.
On offense, Dameshek lists receiver Michael Floyd along with offensive linemen Mike Iupati and Jared Veldheer.
On Floyd, he writes:
He might not rank among the game’s best, but — believe it or not — he’s the best at his position in this division.
The 25-year-old former Notre Dame star caught just 47 passes last year for 841 yards and six touchdowns. However, he caught 65 passes for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns the season before, showing that he could potentially be the team’s primary option in the passing game.
Then, on Iupati, it is noted that the free agent pickup could prove to be big for the Cardinals.
He was a key member of the league’s best line during the too-brief glory years of Harbaugh’s Niners. Now a Card, he could help further swing the pendulum south in the West (or at least help Arizona find a running game).
No doubt Iupati is looked at as someone who will bolster Arizona’s rushing attack, which could certainly use the help. Pairing the three-time Pro Bowler on the left side of the line with Veldheer, who Dameshek moves to the right side for the purposes of the article, is an exciting thing for the Cardinals.
The statue-like Carson Palmer requires solid protection to thrive, so it’s a good thing he’s got Veldheer. Here’s hoping Jared doesn’t mind getting pushed over to the right side on our team to accommodate the more tenured Staley. (I’m sure he’s just happy to be out of Oakland.)
Of course, the Cardinals’ defense — which for the last couple seasons has been one of the best in the NFL — also had some players singled out, with Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson getting mentioned.
A first-time Pro Bowl selection, Dameshek writes of Campbell:
In spite of injury, suspension and trade, the Cards’ D was a force in 2014. Campbell was perhaps the key piece in making this so.
The 28-year-old tallied seven sacks last season, and has 43.5 in his career.
As for Peterson, who is admittedly coming off a down season, the writer says the four-time Pro Bowler gives the Cardinals secondary one of the game’s elite cover men.
Bruce Arians is probably concerned about who’ll be replacing the NFL’s best No. 2 corner, Antonio Cromartie, but at least the Cards will still feature one of the top five CBs in the game.
The final Cardinal on the list is kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who earned the job in training camp last season and went on tto connect on 29-of-33 field goal attempts as well as all 27 of his PATs.
The undrafted free agent out of Clemson validated the Cards’ choice to keep him over Jay Feely by tying a rookie record for consecutive makes to start a career (17).
The Seattle Seahwaks led the way with nine players on the list, while the San Francisco 49ers had six and the St. Louis Rams finished with four.