The impact of Arians and Goodwin are certainly apparent when dissecting the Cardinals quarterback play. Not only has Palmer showed significant improvement but backup Drew Stanton came in and performed admirably as well. That is a clear indicator of excellent coaching and preparation. In Palmer's case it was more a matter of time and familiarity with the system. He struggled early on a year ago but over the second half of 2013 and now 2014 he's been a solid field general for Arizona.
At the beginning of the season, this answer would have been a clear yes. However, I've seen a resurgence in Fitzgerald over the past couple weeks and he may not be ready to hand over the reigns to Floyd just yet. In addition, Floyd needs to demonstrate more consistency and overall versatility. As of now, he's still primarily a deep threat to stretch the field. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Floyd still has work to do to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver.
Where do you believe the weaknesses lie among the offensive line, particularly in its poor run-blocking?
For whatever reason, the Cardinals seem to always struggle upfront on the offensive line - at least in recent years. I do, however, see light at the end of the tunnel for this unit. Running back Andre Ellington is looking healthier by the week and Stepfan Taylor is rounding into a respectable backup. I think those two can help out the offensive line tremendously along with Palmer in the passing game. Arizona's offensive line is by no means great, but I don't think it will hold the team back a great deal.
With Daryl Washington suspended for the season, and Calais Campbell missing time with the leg injury, who's stepped up as the alpha male among the defensive unit? Who else has used these openings to break out and make their own name?
I wouldn't say that one single player has stepped up as the alpha male of the Cardinals defense, and the star might be defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles' knack for dialing up blitzes at the right time has been nearly impeccable this season. Linebacker Larry Foote has done a nice job filling part of the void left by Washington, becoming an instant leader in the process. I don't think it matters who's playing and who's injured; I see Bowles' scheme being good enough to overcome anything that comes its way at this point.
Is Patrick Peterson simply experiencing a 'regression toward the mean', in that his previous seasons are hard to live up to, or is he just struggling at the moment?
Honestly, I think Peterson might have been a little overrated after becoming the highest paid cornerback in the NFL and all the hoopla that comes with that. That said, he's a tremendous talent and certainly one of the best in the game at the position. Cornerbacks often go through ups and downs and I simply see this being a bit of a down time for Peterson. I'd expect him to get back to his old ways sooner rather than later. His attitude and confidence hasn't wavered and in my opinion that's the sign of a good player who can battle through tough times.
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