What the Arizona Cardinals Must Do to Become Playoff Contender
Four weeks into the season, the Arizona Cardinals are 2-2 having played all but one of their opponents very closely. There are some good things to be proud of if you’re Arizona, like the defensive front. There are also some bad things that need to be corrected, which is the reason why they still are not a playoff contender.
The Cardinals rank 2nd in the NFL in rushing defense, only allowing 75 yards per game. This has been their bread and butter thus far. The one thing they can hang their hat on is that front seven, specifically the front four. Those guys have played very good football in terms of stopping the run.
Bringing in quarterback Carson Palmer this offseason was thought to be a very good move in effort to improve offensively. While I agree to an extent, Palmer has also been consistently inconsistent thus far.
Throwing for over 1,000 yards in the first four games, Palmer has already done something that the trio of quarterbacks couldn’t accomplish in 2012. The problem has been the turnovers for Palmer.
In his last two contests, Palmer has only tossed one touchdown as opposed to four interceptions, giving him a total of six on the year. Palmer has also fumbled twice already through four games — not necessarily going to get it done.
For the Cardinals to make some kind of push this season for a wildcard spot, Palmer has to be better. As it has been recently with Arizona, the quarterback position is where they’ve hurt the most. Palmer has been an improvement, but not by a wide margin. He has the ability to get the ball down field to his wide receivers, but Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts cannot do it on their own.
Palmer is going to have to be more accurate and protect the football much better for Arizona to have a shot at contending later in the year.