Cardinals’ secondary is their biggest weakness

May 28, 2016, 3:00 PM
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a one-handed catch but has it called back o...

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a one-handed catch but has it called back on a penalty as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) defends during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Cobb left the game injured after the catch. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Following a 13-3 record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the best teams on both sides of the ball last season. But no team is perfect.’s Gregg Rosenthal took a look at every NFC team and labeled each squad’s biggest weakness.

Rosenthal noted the Cardinals “could have the most loaded roster in the NFL. They also have only one offensive tackle that has ever played an NFL game.”

That one offensive tackle is Jared Veldheer, with the rest of the offensive tackle group consisting of two rookies and four guys with one year under their belt, including 2015 first round pick D.J. Humphries. But Rosenthal thinks the Cardinals have a weakness that’s even more glaring.

Justin Bethel, who excelled as a No. 4 cornerback and special teamer, now stands second on the team’s depth chart. He recently underwent foot surgery. Patrick Peterson is coming off ankle surgery, while Tyrann Mathieu is recovering from a torn ACL. Third-round pick Brandon Williams was seen as a project at cornerback after splitting time as a running back in college. Even though the Cardinals play a ton of safeties and Mathieu essentially plays cornerback, the Cardinals have a shocking lack of NFL-caliber cornerbacks on the roster. Don’t be surprised if they add a veteran or two.

It’s hard to know how much of a toll the injuries will have on Bethel, Peterson and Mathieu going forward, but it’s easy to know the Cardinals’ secondary will look a lot different in 2016, as two primary starters are no longer on the roster. The Cardinals lost Rashad Johnson, who started 14 games and had five interceptions in 2015, to the Tennessee Titans. Jerraud Powers, who started 13 games and had one interception to go along with two fumble recoveries, is now with the Baltimore Ravens.

There are also question marks on how much of a role former Oakland Raider and Kansas City Chief Tyvon Branch will play for his new team as he hasn’t been a primary starter since 2012.

But the impending new secondary might not be too much of a hindrance for the Cardinals, as Rosenthal notes, “they have the most projected wins in football by Football Outsiders, a campaign platform we can support.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the sec...
Arizona Sports

Report: Oklahoma to target Cardinals’ Kingsbury for head coaching job

The Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury ahead of the 2019 season after he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
16 hours ago
Anquan Boldin #81 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers durin...
Sam Graveline

Former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin named semifinalist for HOF Class of 2022

Among the 26 players who were named semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's class of 2022, former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin made the cut.
16 hours ago
Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the secon...
Arizona Sports

Colt McCoy’s pair of wins starting for Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers

There are a handful of notable numbers to take away from Colt McCoy's two wins as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals.
6 days ago
Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after his tackle against the Seattle Seahawks du...
Tyler Drake

By the numbers: The Arizona Cardinals’ dominance during their 9-2 run

There's no doubting the Cardinals' success so far in 2021. A closer look at Arizona's impressive play through 11 games.
5 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JULY 30: JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals talks to Chandler Jones #55 durin...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt pays for funeral costs of Waukesha parade victims

Cardinals' J.J. Watt paid honor to the people of the Waukesha parade tragedy in Wisconsin by covering the funeral costs for all six victims.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on No...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past

The Arizona Cardinals haven't left anything up to chance when it comes to playing on the road in 2021, especially against the NFC West.
3 days ago Cardinals’ secondary is their biggest weakness