The Cardinals are entering their one hundred and eighteenth football season as a professional NFL team. While not all of their time together as a team has been in Arizona, they are celebrating their 29th season in the Grand Canyon State. The coaching staff of the Cardinals hasn’t remained consistent over their seasons but they’ve been happy with the way Bruce Arians has been coaching the team for the last 3 years. This year has been a little bit of a different story for Bruce and his Cardinals with a sub-standard record of 4-4, but they’re still holding onto second place behind the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams are one spot behind the Cardinals in the American Football Conference but they’re nipping at their heals with a record of 4-5. The 49ers have been the biggest disappointment in the league with a shocking record of 1-8 this season. With the way things are shaping up, it looks like the Cardinals will have a descent chance of earning a playoff spot this year if they can tighten up their defense and construct a better offensive game plan.
Let’s take a look at why the Cardinals aren’t on top so far this season. I think that most of their problems started during the off season when they were getting rid of some players and acquiring new ones. The Cardinals got Chandler Jones who used to play defensive end for the Patriots. In order to get Jones, the Cardinals had to trade their 2nd round pick and Jon Cooper, one of their offensive guards. The Cardinals organization and their fans had high hopes for Jones to fill a big void for them in the defensive end position. So far he’s had 1 interception and 7 sacks which is a lot lower than his previous years. While some of this is to blame on the Cardinals defense and the way it’s set up, if you look at some of Jones other statistics you’ll see that he hasn’t had the season the Cardinals fans were expecting. One area that Jones is performing well in is his amount of solo tackles so far this year. He’s had up to 40 solo tackles in the past during the course of one season, but his average is right around 30 over the course of his career. This year Jones has 22 solo tackles and there’s still 6 games left this season so there’s a good chance he’ll end up ahead of his average this season. Jones has had some timely tackles this season, one actually came last week which was the reason they came out victorious.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Cardinals can finish off their so far average season. I wouldn’t put it past the Cardinals to come out swinging for the last half of this season and make a serious attempt to get to the Playoffs. There is always the elusive wild card spot up for grabs even if they can’t top the Seahawks, but as we’ve seen in the past, wild card sports can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. The Cardinals fans are hoping they can step their game up and bring home an NFC Division title.