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Arizona Cardinals 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

Arizona Cardinals 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

The air is starting to thicken as the NFL season creeps nearer and nearer. Here we bring you the NFL 2014 Season preview for the Arizona Cardinals. If you’re craving for more on NFC West, check out our previews for the giants of this division, the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.

The Arizona Cardinals fell just a win short of making the postseason last year despite being in the very tough NFC West. Can this year’s team build on the expectations that come from a strong season and break into the postseason?

Read on for everything you need to know about the Arizona Cardinals heading into the 2014 NFL Season.

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Arizona Cardinals Team Preview for the 2014/2015 NFL Season

Overview

2013 Regular Season Record: 10-6 SU/10-5-1 ATS

The Arizona Cardinals improved to 10-6 SU after posting just five wins in their 2012 regular season. They were in contention for the playoffs heading into Week 17, but a loss to the San Francisco 49ers had them missing the postseason for the fourth consecutive season.

[sc:NFL240banner ]The Cards turned some heads in 2013, with big wins against three different division winners in the Seattle Seahawks (NFC West), Carolina Panthers (NFC South) and the AFC South’s Indianapolis Colts. However, they struggled in their own division, going just 2-4 SU. The Cardinals were dominated by San Francisco, and split wins with Seattle and St. Louis.

Still, even two divisional wins is an achievement in the NFC West, which features the two best teams in the league, and it shows in the Cardinals’ 2-9 record in their last 11 divisional games.

With the defending champions Seattle and the 49ers still looking strong, Arizona may continue to struggle in the division, which they’re currently +750 to win.

Offseason Highlights

The Cardinals were in need of talent in some key positions like offensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver, and quarterback heading into the offseason and they attended to those areas of need, both in free agency and through the draft.

They signed the imposing offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, who stands at 6’8” and 321 lbs. Velheer is a proven left tackle in a league that doesn’t have many, and will shore up the critical position for the Cardinals after the big man left the Raiders amidst contractual controversy.

They also signed a couple of veterans on defense. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie will provide Whisenhunt someone to pair up alongside Pro Bowler Patrick Patterson. Cromartie has 28 career interceptions to his credit, and should serve as a very capable number two cornerback.

They also added longtime Steeler linebacker Larry Foote to bolster a defense that ranked first in the NFL in run defense (just 84.4 yards allowed/game).

Antonio Cromartie

On offense, veteran Tedd Ginn Jr. and rookie John Brown will compete to be the team’s number three wide receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Ginn put up 556 receiving yards last season for the Carolina Panthers, while the Cards hope Brown’s natural athleticism translates from NCAA Division II to the NFL.

To add some talent at quarterback, Arizona picked Logan Thomas in the fourth round of the draft. With quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton on the roster, Thomas was picked more for long-term depth rather than as help in 2014. He consistently put up great passing yards playing at Virginia Tech, averaging 2,965 passing yards in the past three years.

Create a betting account now to capitalize on the coming season with a well-placed futures bet.

Key Betting Matchups of 2014 NFL Season

The Cardinals, whose regular season win total is set at 7.5, need not look beyond their battles with NFC West heavyweight Seahawks and 49ers. Forget the rest of the league: if the Cards can steal two or more of these games again, they will be in great shape to snag a wildcard spot.

September 21 – vs. San Francisco 49ers

A win at home against the 49ers in the final game of last season would have sent the Cardinals to the playoffs. But despite their best efforts to rally in the fourth quarter, they ultimately lost, thus ending their postseason hopes. A rematch with the 49ers is coming sooner rather than later, and will speak of how far the team can go in the upcoming season.

November 23 – vs. Seattle Seahawks

In the past three seasons, the Cardinals have split their regular season games with Seattle. The Seahawks return a team that looks just as dominant as the one who rolled Denver in the Super Bowl last year, so another 17-10 could be tough.

Prediction

The Arizona Cardinals improve their intra-division record to 3-3 SU while going 11-5 SU overall to make the postseason. However, they will eventually lose in the first divisional playoff game in a season that will be seen as a success for an organization building momentum season-by-season.

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Kevin
Written by Kevin

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