Arizona Cardinal fans are excited as the season is finally upon us and after a preseason that seemed like it would never end, it’s finally over. It’s time now to put down the analytical work and watch the season unfold. On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals will open up their 2017 campaign on the road against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Cardinals look to bounce back after a very disappointing 2016 season where they finished the season far below expectations at 7-8-1. If the Cardinals would like to bid for a Super Bowl title then it’s time for a complete turnaround.
- If the Cardinals want to stay remotely relevant in the 2017 season then they must keep Quarterback Carson Palmer healthy – which means that the offensive line needs to step up and keep the pocket clean. If Carson Palmer is knocked around this year then don’t be surprised if the Arizona Cardinals go 5-11 on the season.
- The Arizona Cardinals “no risk it, no biscuit” mentality was nonexistent in 2016. In order to have a bounce back season then the Cardinals must bring back the “no risk it, no biscuit” attitude by capitalizing on the big play opportunities that will send opposing teams into a shock.
- David Johnson needs to be the Offensive Player of the year. I know it’s a tall order, but the third-year player must realize that the stakes have been raised and if the Cardinals expect to be competitive in 2017 then they need a superstar player to guide them.
- With the exception of Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Wide Receivers were absolutely terrible last year. The Cardinals receivers had all sorts of problems – whether it was a lingering injury like John Brown or legal issues like Michael Floyd. Nevertheless, it’s a new year and a new day for the Cardinal Wide Receivers and they need to make their presence felt each and every game.
- The most important key for the Cardinals Defense in 2017 is Safety Tyrann Mathieu – after having a mediocre campaign in 2016 – he’s looking ready for action. Mathieu looks to have a bounce back season after a full year of recovery from yet another ACL injury suffered in the 2015 season. Although, some fans firmly believe that the honey badger is back and ready for the season, he still needs to prove it in the regular season.
- The Cardinals Defense led the league in sacks in 2016 with 48 total sacks. They desperately need to duplicate this number or at least get close to it in order to take the pressure off the Offense of the Cardinals.
- Bruce Arians says he isn’t worried about the cornerbacks this year. Well, that makes one of us Bruce, because outside of Cardinals Superstar Cornerback Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals were pretty bad and allowed way too many big play opportunities and if those don’t shrink in 2017 then it’s going to be tough sledding all year long defensively.
- For the Special teams I really only have one key to the Arizona Cardinals and that’s to make a play when your name is called to make a play. Whether it’s Phil Dawson draining a 48-yard field goal to win the game or just to contain punt and kick returners, make the play, it’s all we ask.
Personally, I believe the Arizona Cardinals were bit hard by the injury bug and I believe that was a huge factor to the Cardinals regress in 2016. However, it’s a new year this year and the Cardinals come into 2017 with a chip on their collective shoulders ready to prove the critics wrong. For this reason I think the Cardinals are a wildcard playoff team finishing the season 10-6, but only if they follow all my keys to this season.
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