ARIZONA CARDINALS

ProFootballFocus has Cardinals atop their first 2016 NFC projection

Jun 3, 2016, 10:36 AM | Updated: Jun 6, 2016, 11:25 am

Cardinals players run onto the field during an OTA practice. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)...

Cardinals players run onto the field during an OTA practice. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

The guess is that here on ArizonaSports.com, most of you never get tired of seeing projections that have the Cardinals ranked atop of the NFC.

So with that in mind, we present to you ProFootballFocus.com, who listed the Cardinals first in their initial NFC projections of 2016 with an expected record of 12-4.

The Cardinals once again exceeded expectations in 2015, and had it not been for their best defensive player getting hurt—and Carson Palmer having his worst game at the worst time—Arizona could have been in the Super Bowl. While some of the NFC’s elite rosters remained mostly intact or had some players leave, the Cardinals were actually able to improve over the course of the offseason. On offense, they let go of several underperforming linemen and brought in the third-highest-graded guard from last year, Evan Mathis. On defense, they improved their pass-rush with Chandler Jones and rookie Robert Nkemdiche.

Their thoughts tend to echo those of many analysts, who may have been surprised by the team’s success last season but have now moved into the camp that believes the Cardinals are indeed a good team that may have even gotten better this offseason.

The addition of Jones, who notched 12.5 sacks with the Patriots last season, was viewed as coup, and the signing of Mathis, who just won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, should upgrade the Cardinals’ right guard spot.

Along with those players, the team also brought in safety Tyvon Branch from the Kansas City Chiefs, and retained key free agents in running back Chris Johnson and tight end Jermaine Gresham.

The Cardinals won 13 regular season games last season and reached the NFC Championship Game, where they fell to the Carolina Panthers 49-15.

 

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ProFootballFocus has Cardinals atop their first 2016 NFC projection