The Arizona Cardinals are currently 4-1, and have a 10-1 record in the last two years when Carson Palmer was starting at quarterback. That is why it is so curious that nobody is giving this team Super Bowl consideration. Fans and analysts love talking about the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers; hell, people would rather pick the Seahawks as their Super Bowl team than the Cardinals. But, the Arizona Cardinals are here to stay.
The Cardinals’ offense has been one of the most impressive units in the NFL this season. Arizona leads the league in points right now with 190 through five games (38 points/gm). What is so impressive about the Cardinals is that they are scoring in all facets of the game. Palmer is currently tied with Aaron Rodgers for the most passing touchdowns this season, and the team has fielded three different running backs with multiple touchdowns. Plus, the defense and special teams units have accounted for four more TDs. Every unit of this team has contributed to the incredible scoring mark the Cardinals have been able to put up this year. And, just to give a little perspective on what the Cardinals are doing on offense this year: they have scored more points through five weeks than did the 2007 New England Patriots.
The offense has also shown great abilities beyond just scoring loads of points. All three running backs have averaged over five yards per carry so far this season. The Cardinals’ receivers have also been on fire this year. They currently lead the league in receiving yards, and are second in yards per catch. In short: the Cardinals’ offense has been their money-maker in 2015.
Arizona was forced to rely on its defense last year because of quarterbacking injuries, and it was painfully clear that the team’s fifth-ranked scoring defense carried the team to the playoffs. Now with a healthy quarterback, the Cardinals have become a complete team. In fact, they are the most deadly team in the NFL when they are at full health.
Arizona has proven that its defense has been one of the NFL’s best units over the last two years. The Cardinals were fifth in points allowed last season, and are fifth in points allowed through five weeks this year. The explosive new Arizona offense has given the defense a chance to show its true ferocity.
The unit has the forced the fourth-most turnovers in the league this year with 13. The defense is also excellent at ending drives; they have allowed the fourth-fewest first downs in the NFL this season. The defense constantly does its job as well, if not better, than any team in the NFL. The ability of Arizona’s defense along with its high-octane offense creates one scary team.
I also have to point out how impressive Arizona’s special teams have been this season. The Cardinals’ second-year kicker Chandler Catanzaro has made every field goal he has attempted this year, and he has only missed one extra point on 24 attempts. Let’s not forget that this unit has also recorded a touchdown this year while alternating between three kick and punt returners.
In all facets of the game, the Arizona Cardinals have proven they are one of the best teams in the league. The defense is able to stop people from scoring, while the offense has put up an insurmountable amount of points through the first five weeks of play. The all-around excellent offense, defense, and special teams make the Arizona Cardinals one of the best teams in the NFL.