The Arizona Cardinals have a good thing going. The 2012 season comes in with plenty of promise if the Cardinals can keep their main weapons healthy and on the field and the schedule in an NFC West that’s leaving behind their legacy of weakness should prepare Arizona for better things in the future.
It’s all going to begin at quarterback and right now that’s where the real questions lie. The Cardinals coaching staff is banking on Kevin Kolb being the man to lead them back to the playoffs. Kolb has been the victim of bad timing and injuries throughout his career, but if he can step up to the plate he’ll have himself a team with plenty of weapons. To begin with, there’s no better receiver in the NFL than Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald added 8- catches and eight TD’s to his resume last season despite troubles under center and no real #2 on the other side. In 2012 Arizona gained the services of Michael Floyd the pass catching demon out of Notre Dame. His presence means defenses can’t load up on Fitzgerald. In the ground game, Kolb will lean heavily of the duo of Beanie Wells and hopefully Ryan Williams, who caught the eye of scouts before before an Achilles injury.
On defense it looks like Arizona is coming along nicely. Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton is running a high pressure system that keeps coming from every angle. Over the course of a 7-2 finish in 2011 it was the defense that came up with the big plays most of the time and Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt is hoping that trend carries into 2012. Daryl Washington leads a set of linebackers that’s young and coming along nicely. Sam Acho on the outside could have a big season.
Getting off to a good start will be crucial. Arizona faces Seattle, Philadelphia, and Miami in their first three home games and all are winnable. A test comes in Week 2 on the road against the Patriots. And of course, within the NFC West the San Francisco 49ers are waiting. But Arizona managed to split with the 49ers last season and they’ve got the offense to play with anyone. Look for the 2012 Arizona Cardinals to compete for a division title.Eric Drouant