Our NFC West Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 notes that the Cards were awful last year. In fact, since 2016 our Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 observes that this team has gone 7-9, 8-8, and, last season, 3-13. So, here’s what happened, head coach Steve Wilks was fired and Kliff Kingsbury hired. Kingsbury, who has no professional head coaching experience, was the top man at Texas Tech from 2013-2018. The franchise also snagged the top pick in the 2019 draft. They took former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. When he was head coach at Texas Tech, Kingsbury had tried to recruit Murray. With Murray coming in, first round pick Josh Rosen, the number 10 pick last season, was let go.
Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 – Team
Our Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 observes that just seven coaches, assistants, or coordinators from the previous team remain. Vance Joseph, a 15-year coaching vet, is the new DC, while Kingsbury runs the offense. However, 21-year coaching veteran Tom Clements is the passing game coordinator and special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, who’s been coaching in the NFL for 16, is the assistant head coach. Everything is all shook up
Arizona – Offense
On offense, things cannot get worse. The Cardinals were ranked 32nd in all but one category, sacks allowed. They tied for 26th in that category, giving up 52. How bad was the offense? They averaged 14.1 PPG, posted a 29% success rate on third-down conversions, and managed 241.6 total offensive yards per game. At QB, Rosen tossed 11 TD passes and 14 INTs.
Kyler Murray starts at quarterback, and you can expect the footballs to fly through the air. Murray, a Heisman Trophy winner, comes to the job with advanced knowledge of the type of offense that Kingsbury runs. If nothing else, it will be interesting. Murray could turn Arizona into a dark horse. His receivers include an aging but still very effective Larry Fitzgerald (69 REC, 734 YDs, 10.6 AVG, 6 TDs) and Christian Kirk (43 REC, 590 YDs, 13.7 AVG, 3 TDs). Last year, Kirk was having a solid rookie season when he was lost for the final four games due to a broken foot. Dual-threat running back David Johnson (258 ATT, 940 YDs, 3.6 AVG, 7 TDs) caught 50 passes for 446 yards and three scores. The frontline suffered numerous injuries last season and was ineffective. We expect better health and play in 2019. But they will still struggle.
Cardinals – Defense
Our Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 observes that there was some good news on defense last season. Arizona held opponents to 203.9 passing yards per game (4th) and posted 49 sacks (T-5th). That was about it in terms of highlights for this defense and team, as the Cardinals were 32nd in rush defense (154.9 YPG), 26th in points allowed (26.6 PG), and tied for 29th in picks (7). Overall, they ranked 20th in total defense (358.8 YPG).
Last season, end Chandler Jones (13 SCKs) led the team in sacks. Jones shed 20 pounds and moves from the line to the SLB spot. Promising rookie Zach Allen, the 65th pick overall who had 16.5 sacks with Boston College, takes Chandler’s spot. NT Corey Peters (51 TKLs, 2.5 SCKs) and RE Rodney Gunter (4.5 SCKs) fill out the front nicely. LB Haason Reddick (102 TKLs, 4 SCKs), a solid force, returns, and the formidable Terrell Suggs, who posted seven sacks with the Ravens last season, starts at WLB. After six seasons with Atlanta, corner Robert Alford comes to the Cardinals on a three-year, $22.5 million contract only to be placed in IR. Plus, starting corner Patrick Peterson is suspended for six games. Rookie corner Byron Murphy and veteran Tramaine Brock Sr. fill those spots. Safeties D.J. Swearinger (4 INTs) and Budda Baker are both solid.
PK Zane Gonzalez (8-11 XP, 9-14 FG) returns after winning the job partway through last season. In 2018, punter Andy Lee averaged 48.6 YPP. He’s exceptionally solid, as is long snapper Aaron Brewer. Kirk returns punts, while Damiere Byrd brings back kicks.
Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 – Prediction
After last season, this team simply has to show improvement. On September 15, they will be tested in Baltimore by the Ravens. Also on the docket are Atlanta, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. The Cards play the Rams twice in December. The corner spots on D are worrisome. High flying teams may take this team apart in the air. Our Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 sees this team as experiencing a rollercoaster season as Murray finds his way in the NFL.
- Quarterbacks – 6.7
- Running Backs – 8.1
- Receivers – 7.6
- Offensive Linemen – 6.3
- Defensive Linemen – 7.7
- Linebackers – 7.0
- Secondary – 8.2
- Special Teams – 6.6
- Coaching – 6.4
NFC West Arizona Cardinals Preview 2019 – Projection
Arizona Cardinals Fourth in NFC West