After going to the NFC Championship game in 2015, the Arizona Cardinals were expected to be Super Bowl contenders last season, but the team couldn’t overcome a slow start and finished the season 7-8-1.
This year, the expectations weren’t as high, but the Cardinals were expected to be in the playoff mix, thanks to the emergence of running back David Johnson, who was the best running back in the NFL last season. Then everything that could go wrong for the Cardinals, went wrong, and their 2018 Superbowl odds decreased from +950 to +25000.
Once again, the Cardinals got off to a slow start, losing two of their first three games. The team did manage to turn things around and have now won two of their last three games. The Cardinals also traded for former league MVP Adrian Peterson, to replace an injured Johnson.
Peterson rushed for over 130 yards in his debut for the Cardinals, and if he can give the team that type of production on a weekly basis, the Cardinals will be a tough team to beat.
Arizona’s odds to win the Super Bowl is currently +7500. But if the team can string together some wins, their odds will improve before the season is over.
The Cardinals currently have the 20th ranked offense in the league, averaging 19.8 points per game. Carson Palmer is third in the league in passing yards with 1,856 yards because the team has been forced to throw the ball a lot due to their lack of a running game. With Peterson on the roster, expect to see a more balanced offense.
Their defense on the other hand hasn’t been very impressive. Opponents are scoring 26.3 points per game against them, which is 28th in the league.
If the Cardinals are to be considered legitimate contenders, they have to do a better job on the defensive end.
The good news for the Cardinals and their fans is they have gone through the toughest part of their schedule, and have a bunch of winnable games, and should be able to get back in the playoffs if they take care of business against the teams they should beat. Once they are in the playoffs, anything is possible.