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NFL Football 2013: Arizona Cardinals Preview

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/14/2013 9:46:51 PM

When people in the online sports betting legal realm contemplate how the Arizona Cardinals are going to be able to produce a good season in the witheringly ferocious NFC West Division, the search begins at quarterback, where the franchise – dogged by injuries and generally poor play in the years following the retirement of elite signal caller Kurt Warner – is calling upon another old hand to lead a resurgence.

In any set of poker games that you play, the one who dispenses the cards is important. In football, the dispenser of the pigskin plays an even more central role. If the quarterback can get the ball to his receivers on time and in the right spot at the right angle, an offense hums with precision. If the quarterback is off his game, the whole machinery of an offense promptly breaks down.  

The NFC West owns two young up-and-coming quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. Of greater note is the presence of three fire-breathing defenses. The 49ers, Seahawks, and the St. Louis Rams all have above-average pass-rushing units. Arizona’s offense needs to be able to keep pace with the offenses in its division while standing tall against the defenses that will try to deck the Cards all season long. American football betting gurus who focus more on the elite teams in the NFC West are probably not convinced that Arizona can display much of any resistance. When looking at the Cardinals’ new old-man quarterback, it’s easy to see why.

Carson Palmer was never really the same as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals after an injury knocked him out of a home playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in January of 2006. Palmer had been an elite quarterback in the NFL, but his injuries crept into his mind and made him a less decisive passer who made poor reads and decisions. Palmer tried to resurrect his career in Oakland last season with the Raiders, and while he showed flashes of brilliance and sometimes moved the team quite consistently, he ultimately lacked help. Palmer didn’t look good on balance, and the Raiders failed to come anywhere close to the .500 mark under a first-year coach, Dennis Allen, who didn’t seem to have much of a clue. Palmer’s career is in a state of drift, and his harshest critics would contend that the Heisman Trophy winner at USC is experiencing not just temporary struggles, but permanent drift.

The Cardinals are betting that an escape from Oakland and its pervasively dysfunctional environment will give Palmer a new start. Arizona is also hoping that Palmer will be able to use star receiver Larry Fitzgerald as something of an anchor, a player who can given the quarterback a security blanket, especially in third-and-long situations. The fact that Arizona’s first-year coach, Bruce Arians, has been one of the better offensive coordinators in the league is also a possible source of renewal for Palmer. Arizona’s defense is solid and competent; if the Palmer acquisition works out well for this team, it could turn in a much better season than most experts think.


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