Arizona Cardinals Record Prediction & Game-By-Game Breakdown 2021-22
This is an inexperienced Cardinals team that went through the growing pains these past two seasons with new Head Coach Kliff Kingsburgy. This team went from 5-10-1 in 2020, to 8-8 in 2021. The jury is still out about Kliff Kingsbury, but this is a very promising roster with great young talent that should get even better especially considering their additions.
The Cardinals made a spash this off-season. No matter what you think about J.J. Watt at this point in his career, that is a big addition for this defense that needs some leadership up front. Other additions include Malcolm Butler, A.J. Green, James Conner, Rodney Hudson plus rookies Zaven Collins & Rondale Moore who I believe will have an immediate impact.
Kyler Murray started off hot last season. The read option was money in the bank early, but as teams adjusted the Cardinals offense could not. For this offense to reach new heights, Kyler Murray needs to be more consistent with his throwing. He made some big splash plays that gets you excited about his potential, but he could not do it at a rate to make them a legit playoff contender.
It helps that this Cardinals offensive line has improved tremendously over past seasons. They were PFF’s 12th ranked offensive line last season and should be a little bit better with the addition of Rodney Hudson at center.
At running back they lost Kenyan Drake, but added James Conner. These are two very different types of players, but the real story will be the involvement of Chase Edmonds. He is clearly the most versatile RB on this team and is in line for a career high in touches. While he doesn’t have the build of an every down back, I expect him to be one of the more improved players of the year.
DeAndre Hopkins will continue to hold it down as the receiving leader on this team, but there is someone else who has me really excited. Rondale Moore has freakish speed and is extremely talented in open field. Sure A.J. Green and Christian Kirk will get theirs, but it’s Moore who I see as the number 2 option in the passing game.
Recently I heard rumors that Chandler Jones is seeking to be traded. Before this news I thought this front seven was in line to drastically improve, but if he were to be traded that would be a massive blow as the best pass rusher on the team. Patrick Peterson was the most notable player to leave in free agency and his experience will be missed. To lose another leader on this defense will stunt the growth as a unit.
Isaiah Simmons was a let down in his rookie season, but that was expected. He is a raw player who didn’t have a set position. I don’t expect the same let down from first round pick Zaven Collins. I believe his impact will be felt immediately.
Leading the secondary is Budda Baker who has quickly become one of my most favorite players to watch. His versatility is fun to watch as he can work sideline to sideline as well as deliver blows when needed.
The Cardinals lost a couple of key players, but gained them right back in free agency and the draft. That being said the most important thing will be the progression of their young players included Kyler Murray.
I’m not a big fan of Kliff Kingsbury, but I am a big fan of this roster. I believe they made all the right moves this off-season and even though they are competing in the toughest division in the NFL, they will pull off a playoff birth.
MY PREDICTION: 9-8
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