Cleat Geeks

NFL Report Card: Arizona Cardinals

arizona-cardinals

Our NFL report card for the 2015-2016 season will be assigning a letter grade to each of the 32 teams and offering an explanation why that grade was chosen. After the evaluation, we will point out one specific areas the team will need to address this off-season. Want some extra credit? Comment down below what grade YOU would give the team, and tell me on Twitter @FantasyFlurry your thoughts on the team’s report card for that day!

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The Arizona Cardinals had the best season in franchise history, finishing with a 13-3 record for the first time. Their offense averaged 408.3 yards per game and was the best in the league. There were many games where they had a large enough lead to sit players in the fourth quarter. Carson Palmer finished the season as an MVP candidate and the best QBR in the league by far with an 82.1 rating. It helped him out to have Fitzgerald, Brown, and Floyd as his top three receivers to throw to. The running game seemed to surprise people this year. The team averaged 119.8 rushing yards per game. Chris Johnson was the one who started the season out strong running the ball, but the rookie David Johnson took over after Chris went down hurt.79db7c46c712db839374d2bba102ba74_crop_north

The defense was also solid for the Cardinals. They gave up only 321.7 yards and 19.6 points per game. Patrick Peterson slimming down and returning to form this season, combined with Tyrann Mathieu establishing himself as one of the top safeties in the game, helped this group become one of the best secondaries in the league. The defensive backs were very good, and that allowed for the pass rush to be effective. Arizona didn’t have the best pass-rushers, but their creativity helped them find a way to finish with 36 sacks.

Two areas that are often overlooked, special teams and coaching, the Cardinals were strong at this season. Cantanzaro finished the season 28/29 inside of 50 yards, and Justin Bethel emerged as one of the top gunners in the league. This team is loaded with talent, but they wouldn’t have been anywhere near this great without their coaches. Bruce Arians and the rest of the coaches form one of the strongest staffs in the league. I would say that they are the best in the NFC.

Final Grade: A

 

Biggest Off-season Need?

I feel like this team needs to find another solid, athletic defensive lineman. I’m guessing they will use the draft to address this need. Bringing in another big guy up front will help to anchor this defense, and whoever it is will have to help jump start the pass rush.

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