The "Power Core" Pre-Season Power Rankings #21
Could Arizona have the worst luck imaginable? They leave the weakest division in football, to play St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle twice. They've got a very average defense and a less-than average running game. Well that means we will be seeing an unhealthy dose of "Plummer to Boston."
#21 Arizona Cardinals in the NFC East (7 - 9) 4th in NFC East
This Cardinal team is young and hungry. Dave McGinnis had these guys playing playoff-caliber football down the stretch, but a 1 – 6 start was too much to overcome. David Boston finally became the player they all hoped he might be with a breakout season. Remember the game when he schooled Oakland at Oakland? I didn't think he could carry a team like that, but he put himself in the top-5 with that performance alone.
The Good: Jake Plummer has beefed up. He actually threw more TD's than interceptions for the first time in his career. David Boston (overlooked by the Steelers 3 years ago in favor Troy Edwards) had a huge breakthrough year. Former Raven Duane Starkes upgrades a thin defense. They also have the momentum of last years 9-win season behind them, which should by accounts help their mind-set early on. Picking up tight end Freddie Jones from San Diego also should help the offensive output.
The Bad: The pass happy NFC West should do a number on this secondary. The Cardinels are strong at safety, but not cornerback and they don't have much depth beyond the first three defensive backs (including starters). The running game continues to be led by relative unknowns and players who wouldn't even make the Steeler's unit. This year it will be Thomas Jones because former starter Michael Pittman is gone.
The Ugly: Please don't let Martin Gramatica dance anymore. His injury while doing a flip was the "Gus Ferotte Head Butt" moment of 2001. Did you know he had a website too? This guy's a dip and he's still got women swooning over him.
Synopsis: This team is actually much stronger than the teams behind it in the rankings, but because of the division they play in, they'll be lucky to win 6 games this year.