After a great offseason, and good draft, the Arizona Cardinals have high expectations coming into this season. Kyler Murray now has one of the best threats in today’s game with DeAndre Hopkins, and Arizona got a steal in Isiah Simmons with the 8th pick. In a tough NFC West, Arizona likely will need to beat either the Seahawks or 49ers to get at least second place in their division.
Opponents this season:
The Cardinals’ opponents have an average winning percentage of .518. Yes, their schedule will be difficult, but there’s no reason why they can’t pull off a few upsets during the course of the season. Outside of the division, the toughest teams that the Cards will be facing are the Bills, Cowboys, and Eagles. That there shows you that the division is what could kill them both in the short and long term. My prediction is that Arizona will go 1-1 against the Rams, 1-1 against the 49ers, and 0-2 against the Seahawks. A 2-4 record inside the division isn’t good, but playing opponents like the Jets, Giants, Dolphins, and Detroit hopefully will make up for that.
Kyler Murray showed a lot of promise last season. He came in and competed in each of his games, and gave it all he got. Against tough opponents like the 49ers, Ravens, and Seahawks, Murray played well and gave a lot of hope to this organization. After acquiring DeAndre Hopkins, Murray has great talent to throw the ball to. Hopkins and Deshaun Watson had a pretty good connection, and I think it will only be getting better with Kyler Murray. Murray will no longer have to throw with perfect accuracy, he just needs to get the ball near Hopkins, and bam, it’ll be a reception. Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury is also entering his second season. It should seem like a good place to be in for a new head coach. He has an electric quarterback who is crazy fast, a monster receiver who has shown continuous dominance, and a veteran-young mixed defense who has a great future set up.
My final prediction here is a bold one, don’t get mad. I think that Arizona will finish the season with a record of 9-7, and make the playoffs. I think that after the Wild Card game, they will be eliminated. Before the draft, I was a little skeptical about putting them in the postseason, but now I think they can make it. If Isiah Simmons can prove to have a good rookie year, the defense would receive much help and have a lot of veteran presence for Simmons. Outside of the NFC West, I think that the Cardinals will go 7-2, with the losses being to Dallas and Buffalo. I have a very bold prediction here, but I have no doubts in Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins in Houston.
Top Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports