Updated May 16, 2013 - 11:31 am
SI writer: Cardinals need help to reach the playoffs
But will it all be enough to lift a team that won just five games last season to the postseason in the next one?
According to Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks, no. But, he notes, it's not necessarily due to a lack of effort or anything the Cardinals have done themselves.
You can like a lot of what the Cardinals accomplished this offseason on the coaching, front office and roster-building side and still not be able to make a legitimate case for them to leap-frog the 49ers, Seahawks or Rams in the NFC West standings. And therein lies the problem: You can't make the playoffs as a last-place team in the NFL. It's mathematically impossible because there are only two wild-card clubs in each conference.
I can see Arizona being obviously improved, finishing in the seven-win range, and playing its division mates tough. But the Cardinals don't have the firepower to match what San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis can put on the field this season, and adding the below average Carson Palmer at quarterback only rates as an upgrade because Arizona was almost comically outmatched at the game's most crucial position last year.
Banks' misgivings about Palmer notwithstanding, he is reiterating a general theme that seems to be surrounding the Cardinals heading into the 2013 season. Sure, they may be better, but their division is so tough their record may not reflect the improvement.
As for the team's playoff chances? Banks writes, "It would require woeful underachievement by the rest of the NFC West to lift Arizona's fortunes to wild-card contending status."
Very well, then.
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- With Jared Veldheer signing, Steve Keim has done it again
- Numbers say Jared Veldheer is a big pickup for the Arizona Cardinals
- Team broadcaster 'mystified' that Raiders let Jared Veldheer go to Arizona Cardinals
- Arizona Cardinals benefit from the Carson Palmer effect
- It's official: Arizona Cardinals re-sign trio of players, release Daryn Colledge
- Tom Flores, Oakland Raiders radio color commentator - Tuesday March 11Tom Flores discusses Cardinals signing of left tackle Jared Veldheer.
- Mike Sando, ESPN NFL insider - Tuesday March 11Is Jim Harbaugh still welcome in San Francisco?
- Kent Somers, AZ Central Sports Cardinals beat writer - Monday March 10Kent Somers talks all things Cardinals free agency.
- Kent Somers, AZ Central Sports Cardinals beat writer - Thursday March 6Kent Somers discusses the Cardinals' efforts to sign Karlos Dansby.
- Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com NFL writer - Thursday March 6Pete Prisco of CBS Sports discusses the NFL offseason and the NFL draft.