Cardinals Season Forecast
Started off doing this for the Raiders...I figure Ill keep doing it for more teams
Week 1 at San Francisco
The 49ers CBs are able to match up decently with the Cards' receivers in man coverage, but Edge has a strong game and looks very fresh in the season opener. Frank Gore also has a strong game and serves as a workhorse for the 49ers and springing multiple long gains. Alex Smith has a very efficient game, hitting the defense with a lot of short passes and the 49ers offense is able to really keep the Cardinal defense off balance.
L, 28-17 (0-1)
Week 2 v Seattle
Like SF, Seattle is able to get their running game going and the west coast offense is again in effect as Hasselbeck is able to put together a number of good drives. The Cardinal run game is ineffective against a strong Seahawk front line but Matt Leinart is in full gunslinger mode and keeps the Cards with the Seahawks
L, 31-27 (0-2)
Week 3 @ Baltimore
The Cards couldnt have a tougher game in front of them while knowing they badly need a win to stop themselves from falling too far behind early. Unfortunately, Baltimore stiffling defense is not mericiful. The Cards OL gets manhandled and the Ravens aggresive D forces Leinart into some mistakes. McGahee has a solid game and Mark Clayton goes over 100 yards through the air.
L, 27-10 (0-3)
Week 4 v Pittsburgh
The Steelers come into town against a desperate Arizona Cardinal team and the Cardinals show up for this one. While the Steelers run D does what is expected of them, Leinart, Q and Fitz light up the PIT secondary. The Cardinal D is able to apply a lot of pressure to Roethlisberger and force him into some mistakes.
W, 27-20 (1-3)
Week 5 at St. Louis
The Cardinal defense faces a tough matchup against STLs high powered offense but they are able to limit Steven Jackson and cause the Rams' drives to stall. However, Bulger and Holt strike quickly for some big plays downfield.
The Cardinal O takes advantage of an outmatched secondary as Leinart has another big day and Edge goes over 100 yards.
W, 31-23 (2-3)
Week 6 v Carolina
The Carolina defense comes into town and puts an end to the Cardinals offensive parade as they control the LOS, bottle up Edge, put pressure on Leinart and watch their CBs do a good job on Q and Fitz. The Cardinal D is able to keep the Carolina offense in check for the most part but DeAngelo Williams springs a couple long runs and Steve Smith proves to be a force in the game as the Cardinals cant find anyone who can cover him.
L, 20-10 (2-4)
Week 7 at Washington
Santana Moss gives the Cards many of the same problems Steve Smith did and the Skins use their 1-2 punch at HB to control the pace of the game. Leinart and Edge get comfortable and get some drives going but the Skins secondary doesnt give up big plays and hold the Cards to field goals.
L, 20-16 (2-5)
Week 8 BYE
Week 9 at Tampa Bay
The Tampa offense is unable to get much going in the game as the Cards do a good job bottling up Cadillac and dare the Bucs to beat them through the air. Edge has a good game and the Cardinals win a low scoring bout.
W, 16-10 (3-5)
Week 10 v Detroit
This one turns out to be a shootout as neither team has the DBs to cover opposing ultra-talented WR duos. However, Leinart outplays Kitna and the Cards win the turnover battle which leads to them winning the game.
W, 34-27 (4-5)
Week 11 @ Cincinnati
Carson Palmer and crew absolutely light up the Cardinal defense as they fire on all cylinders against a defense with no answer. The Bengal defense puts up much more fight than the Cardinals' and the game turns into a rout.
L, 41-24 (4-6)
Week 12 v San Francisco
The 49er offense once again is in rhythm against the Cardinal defense as Frank Gore, Alex Smith and Darrell Jackson all have big games. The Cardinal offense comes up with answers but is sometime stagnant against an improved 49er defense. The game comes down to the wire but when asked to make a stop down the stretch, the Cardinal defense just cant do it.
L, 27-24 (4-7)
Week 13 v Cleveland
With Brady Quinn in the lineup, the Browns offense is looking high power and the Cardinal defense at times struggles, but they shut down Jamal Lewis and the Browns' run game and produce enough offense to win.
W, 20-13 (5-7)
Week 14 at Seattle
Matt Hasselbeck, Alexander and Branch prove to be a too much against a cardinal defense that has been established as vulnerable by seasons end and the Hawks take care of business.
L, 34-20 (5-8)
Week 15 at New Orleans
Once again, a high powered offense takes a bite into an exposed defense. The Cardinal offense gets rolling on all cylinders but they fail to win this shootout.
L, 38-31 (5-9)
Week 16 v Atlanta
A struggling Falcon team comes into Arizona for one of those meaningless, draft position deciding games. The Falcon offense fails to get anything much going and while the Falcon D puts up a strong effort, their offense cant put up enough points to win.
W, 17-10 (6-9)
Week 17 v St. Louis
The Cards look to end the season on a good note and get their offense rolling. The Rams try to keep up but Antrell Rolle does a surprisingly good job on Tory.
W, 31-27 (7-9)
All in all, the offense shows real improvement, the OL improves and Matt Leinart shows the signs that he will be a great franchise QB for them. But their defense turns out be extremely vulnerable and with the Cardinals facing a schedule full of high-powered offenses, too many games are lost because opposing offenses simply light their D up.