The Arizona Cardinals have come a long way since their Cinderella season in 2008 which resulted in a Super Bowl appearance. Since then, they have only made one playoff appearance, and have struggled the last two seasons through erratic QB play, inconsistent RB play, and a frustrated All Pro wide receiver. Going into the upcoming season, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, especially at the quarterback position. Just this week, Coach Ken Whisenhunt waxed philosophical about who is gonna be his signal caller. The Cards are gonna have to figure something, especially since the once upon a time easy division, is now chock full of competitive squads in the rest of the division.
Fantasy Football Studs: Aside from the obvious (hello Larry Fitzgerald), the Cardinals have a few nice players for your fantasy football roster. Bennie Wells finished 2011 with just over 1000 yards and 10 TDs. Obviously not who I would pick as my first RB choice but in 2 RB leagues, he’s a good look. If you play in an IDP league, Patrick Peterson could be a great friend of yours in 2012. His rookie year he scored 4 TDs on punt returns (also great for DEF/Special Teams). I expect him to build on his skills as a CB this year in the league, improving the number of INTs (2 in 2011) and playmaking ability.
Area of Strength: Larry Fitzgerald has been as consistent a wide receiver as anyone in the NFL since he came into the league in 2004. He is coming off a season where he managed 80 catches and over 1400 yards receiving, even with the up and down play of the Cardinal QBs. Fitzgerald will continue to be the best player for the Cards and a top 10 receiver in the league, this upcoming season.
Area of Weakness: It’s clear D is not the only one who things Fitzgerald is a beast. Apparently, he’s the only one Kevin Kolb and John Skelton could find last season. Many had high hopes for Kolb when he left Philly to play for an offensive wiz (pun intended) like Ken Whisenhunt. However with 9 TDs, 8 INTs, and 8 fumbles, nothing was magical about Kolb’s first year as a Cardinal. With no alternative plans looming, it appears Kolb will duke it out with Skelton in training camp to get another shot as a starter. For the sake of the fans (and Larry Fitzgerald), I hope this year is better.
2012 Marquee Matchups: The Cardinals will battle twice a year against division foes, the Niners, Rams, and Seahawks. But they also have some other formidable matchups with the Patriots in Week 2, the Eagles in Week 3, Green Bay, Week 9, Falcons, Week 11, Jets in Week 13, and in the last three weeks of the season, they take on the Lions, the Bears, and the Niners. It’s gonna be a tough season for Arizona.
All Things Arizona Cardinals:
Apps: There are no apps dedicated solely to the Arizona Cardinals in the Apple App store.
Fan Clubs: The jury is out on the Big Red Army Fan Club. However fans can get info on the Cardinals website, www.azcardinals.com