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Arizona Cardinals Betting – Cardinals Look To Regroup In 2011

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/29/2011 7:26:17 PM
arizona cardinals betting

Online betting players lost faith in Arizona last year as they completed imploded behind one of the worst offenses in recent memory, and even if they make some moves in the offseason, it probably won’t be enough to get the Cardinals to the playoffs, even in the NFC West.

  • Head Coach: Ken Whisenhunt
  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike Miller
  • Defensive Coordinator: Ray Horton 
  • Owner: Bill Bidwill
  • Stadium: University of Phoenix Stadium
  • Capacity: 63,400
  • Super Bowl Wins: 0

Offense

In a word, awful; only Carolina had a worse offense than the Cardinals, who were dead last on the ground and only one spot better through the air. The only quarterback with a worse passer rating than Derek Anderson was Carolina rookie Jimmy Clausen, and you can bet that the Cardinals will be in the hunt for a pivot as soon as the lockout is lifted, specifically free agent Kevin Kolb. It should be time for “Beanie” Wells to step up in the backfield as Tim Hightower may be allowed to leave town, but the Cardinals also drafted Ryan Williams, so don’t be surprised if Wells is shipped out as well. Improving the offense is key to keeping receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is a free agent after this season is over, and without him, Arizona’s offense wouldn’t be able to compete against most top-level college teams. Steve Breaston should be re-signed, but he has to prove he is recovered from a knee injury. Early Doucet is also a free agent (albeit, a restricted one, like Hightower), and Arizona needs all the weapons they can get to boost their NFL betting odds. Of course, none of this matters unless the line is better as the Cardinals allowed 50 sacks last season.

Where to start on how to improve the Cardinals’ offense? From top to bottom, the entire group needs to be gutted with the exception of Fitzgerald, and he can’t be too confident right now. Alan Faneca retired up front, so the line could be even worse. The running backs are a mess, although there is potential there, but can they get it going behind a poor line? And then there are the quarterbacks; if the Cardinals can’t lure someone to the desert, it is either Anderson, Max Hall or John Skelton. Have fun with that, Arizona fans.

Grade: D-

Defense

Arizona’s defense wasn’t much better than the offense, although to be fair, the offense didn’t help much with 35 giveaways. The Cardinals were 29th on this side of the ball, including 30th against the run and 23rd against the pass, and they definitely took a shot at boosting their pass defense by drafting cornerback Patrick Peterson out of LSU. Peterson was thought by many to be the best pure football player in the draft, and he may be more important as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie may be on his way out of Arizona (the Cardinals are dangling him in front of Philadelphia for Kolb). The defense is in the midst of a rebuild as the Cardinals will likely release outside linebacker Joey Porter, while on the inside, the plan is for rookie Quan Sturdivant to compete with 33-year-old Paris Lenon, who led the team in tackles. Along with Sturdivant and second-year player Darryl Washington, the Cardinals are looking to get younger at linebacker. The Cardinals should also be set at the back with the veteran safety duo of Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson, who played hurt for most of last year.

However, the Cardinals need to get it together up front; their lack of penetration is the reason why they’re terrible against the run and while the secondary is decent, they’re left in pass rush for far too long. End Darnell Dockett was good last year, but he only made the Pro Bowl because of injuries ahead of him and he needs to earn at least most of the $15 million he is due this season. Rookie Sam Acho can play either up front or a rush linebacker, but a lot isn’t expected of him this year. The Cardinals are in need of outside linebackers on both sides.

Grade: C-

Special Teams

Arizona ranked fifth in kickoff returns behind Larod Stephens-Howling, but 27th in punt returns with Andre Roberts leading the way, and you may see Peterson step in for Roberts as he was one of the best return players in the country during his time at LSU. Peterson is so athletic that the Tigers even used him on offense, so expect him to get a look here. When it comes to covering kicks and punts, the Cardinals were 26th and 30th respectively, and when your defense is as bad as Arizona, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra room.

Ben Graham was 18th in average punting and 21st in the net category, but as a free agent, he could be brought back if the Cardinals can’t find anyone better. Jay Feely was tied for seventh when it comes to converting field goals and outside of Fitzgerald, he is Arizona’s best chance for points.

Grade: C

Prediction

According to NFL betting odds, the Cardinals are rated at +2500 to win the NFC and +6000 to win the Super Bowl, but they’re just looking to get back to .500 after winning the West for two straight seasons and of course, there was their great run to the Super Bowl three years ago when they gave Pittsburgh all they could handle in a losing cause. The bottom certainly fell out for the Cardinals, and it’s not a stretch to say it happened when Kurt Warner retired, leaving Arizona’s quarterback spot in disarray.

That is probably the major area for Arizona, and they’ll aggressively try and change that when the free-agency period starts. But there are a lot of other holes for the Cardinals, such as on the offensive and defensive lines, as well as outside linebacker and running back. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is probably fighting for his job, and this could be it for him as the Cardinals won’t be a factor in this year’s sports betting odds.

2011 Schedule

  • Week 1 – vs. Carolina (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 2 – at Washington (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – at Seattle (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – vs. New York Giants (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – at Minnesota (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – vs. Pittsburgh (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 8 – at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 9 – vs. St. Louis (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 10 - at Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 11 – at San Francisco (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – at St. Louis (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – vs. Dallas (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – vs. San Francisco (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – vs. Cleveland (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – at Cincinnati (Saturday, 1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – vs. Seattle (4:15 PM ET)

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