Whew, I'm definitely glad the Oakland Raiders are off the board. The blood was in the water and the sharks needed to be fed. Now the countdown begins for the next hated division rival. Will it be the San Diego Chargers or Kansas City Chiefs? The race for second place begins.
Today we'll take a look a the weakest team in one of the league's strongest divisions. The Cardinals will finish with a better team than what their record will suggest, but I expect them to run into plenty of buzz saws in the NFC West. In a game of match-ups, the Cardinals simply don't match up well with those three other teams.
29. Arizona Cardinals (2012 Record: 5-11)
So whenever I do these power ranking posts, there are always a few teams that just seem to get no respect. The Cardinals are one of those teams. They suddenly find themselves in a powerhouse division with, I think, three true playoff contenders heading into this next season and you know what? Someone has to lose football games so that can happen. The Cardinals will be a better team this year, but will end up getting buzz-sawed by their division rivals.
They drafted fairly well this year, but the big question is whether or not the low character guys that were considered steals in the middle rounds will grow up while playing for a losing franchise. Often those type of guys don't keep their heads when it comes to staying out of trouble.
The good thing for the Cardinals is they will likely find their franchise quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. I watched Carson Palmer play in Oakland and the only way he is the long term answer for the Cardinals is if he pulls a Kurt Warner on us and Oakland was just Palmer's version of Warner's stay with the New York Giants. We'll see...