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NFL Arizona Cardinals

5 Early Predictions For The Arizona Cardinals’ 2014 Season

5. Rob Housler Phased Out

Rob Housler
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5. Rob Housler Phased Out

Rob Housler
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a couple of disappointing "break out seasons," the Cardinals have added the type of big blocking tight ends that Bruce Arians likes. With the signing of John Carlson and drafting of Troy Niklas I expect to see a lot less of Rob Housler barring injury, if even at all.

4. Cardinals O-Line Shows Significant Improvement

Cardinals practice
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

4. O-Line Shows Significant Improvement

Cardinals practice
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the offensive line actually managed a 15th overall ranking in sacks given up (41), which isn't bad for having lost Jonathan Cooper to injury and having plugged in Bradley Sowell at the vital left tackle position. The return of Cooper, the addition of Jared Veldheer, and having a full year in Arians' system should see even greater improvement in 2014. I can see the O-Line reducing that sack total to 30.

3. Defense Remains a Top 10 Defense

Cards Defense
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. Defense Remains a Top 10 Defense

Cards Defense
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The loss of Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby has some analysts spelling doom and gloom for the Cards' D this season. However, I just don't see this defense experiencing much of a drop off, if any. The Cards added Antonio Cromartie, Larry Foote, drafted a promising Deone Bucannon, and reportedly Justin Bethel is emerging as a very promising corner. If nothing else, I believe Todd Bowles is capable enough to adjust his scheme.

2. Larry Fitzgerald Has a 1,000 Yard Season

Larry Fitzgerald
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Larry Fitzgerald Has a 1,000 Yard Season

Larry Fitzgerald
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's been since the 2011 season that Larry Fitzgerald had a 1,000 yard season, and that drought ends in 2014. The majority of the focus will be on Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd, both of whom figure to be the focal point of the Cardinals' offense. That would leave Fitzgerald with more 1-on-1 coverage than he's seen in years. He may have lost a step, but I still like the future Hall of Famer to have a big season.

1. Cardinals Return to the Postseason

Steve Keim, Michael Bidwill, Bruce Arians
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cardinals Return to the Postseason

Steve Keim, Michael Bidwill, Bruce Arians
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Following a 10-6 season, the Cardinals have addressed the three major areas that needed improvement -- offensive line, secondary and the tight end position. I'm one of the few that doesn't believe there's going to be a dramatic drop off on defense, and if Carson Palmer and the offense can build on their improved second half of 2013, look for another double digit win total only with a postseason berth.