Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) returns an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Last but definitely not least, Arizona returns to the picture of NFL relevancy under the franchises second year with Bruce Arians.
A slow start to 2013 proved to be the Cardinals’ Achilles heel in an otherwise extremely impressive season, ending one game shy of a playoff berth. Without linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby, Arizona’s defense should experience some early season struggles as they learn how to cope with the loss of their premiere linebackers. However, the offense should be prepared to shoulder much more of the load this season, with a second-year of Arian’s system under their belts.
The additions of wideouts Tedd Ginn Jr. (4.30) and John Brown (4.34) will add a speed element that was greatly needed at times last season. There may also be a new legion of boom forming out west as Antonio Cromartie makes his way over to the desert to work opposite Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu; rounding out an extremely formidable secondary.
At the end of the day, tickets for any playoff game in Seattle next year need to put on the hold. A division battle unlike any they have had in the past await them this season with each team being able to make a case to be the new NFC West champion. For a team that has been penciled in by many as a lock to repeat as division champs and Super Bowl champs, Seattle could find themselves in a week 16 battle against Arizona with a playoff spot and division title on the line.
But hey, that’s life in the Wild Wild West.