Carson Palmer‘s already provided a couple nice assurances this preseason on the Arizona Cardinals offense. Well, assurances that at least they won’t be crippled by some of the worst quarterback play in history.
Arizona’s offense showed some encouraging signs against the Green Bay Packers to open the preseason and this offseason the bookmakers have reacted to the idea of the Cardinals fielding a competent pass attack. Since May, the Cards’ Super Bowl and division title odds have both risen substantially.
(The first number is from Aug. 24; the second in parenthesis from roughly three months ago to illustrate the change of perception over the offseason.)
Super Bowl Odds: 125-to-1 (200-to-1)
Division Title Odds: +2000 (+3300)
Season Win Total Line: 5.5 (5.5)
Late-May Snapshot: “I want nothing to do with Arizona’s Super Bowl title odds of 200-to-1 or division title odds of +3300, but I’m actually pretty surprised that St. Louis Rams have so much respect on them at +800. The NFC West very much has the feel of a two-horse race between Super Bowl contenders San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks — making longshot picks in this division unsavory — I don’t see that much separation between St. Louis and Arizona. Both fit the mold of respectable defensive squads with improving offensive lines and question-mark quarterbacks, and both have the look of 6-to-9 win teams in my opinion,” I wrote earlier this offseason.
Larry Fitzgerald might finally be freed from the most unenviable position in sports. No longer dealing with John Skelton or Ryan Lindley, Fitzgerald finally gets a professional passer and an upper-echelon arm in Palmer. I give Arizona virtually no chance of breaking through that wall of Seattle and San Fran to the top of the NFC West, but 5.5 wins seems very low for a team that won five games last year with a completely incompetent pass offense, and just made major upgrades to quarterback and offensive line.