It’s fair to say that none of us at 600 Global were satisfied with the results of the Cardinal’s season last year. From a team that went 13-3 in 2015, they finished with a pitiful record of 7-8-1 in 2016 and didn’t even clinch a playoff spot.
All in all, 600 Global hasn’t had much to cheer for lately besides the Diamondbacks. They’re the only team that has showed promise lately, but the good news is that it is the start of a new season.
The Cardinals have all the pieces, it’s just a matter of putting them all together. If the Cardinals can do these 5 things, they’re bound to have a great season.
1 Keep pressure off of Palmer
It’s difficult for your passing game to have an effect on the game if you can’t throw the ball. Not to mention the psychological aspect of worrying about pressure every time you drop back in the pocket. If the Cardinal’s line can give Carson enough time to survey the field, he has the talent and arm strength to deliver a strike to his dangerous receiving core.
2 Take your medicine
To piggy-back off of the last point, the deep ball isn’t the only way to score points. Last season the Cardinals fell into the habit of slinging the ball downfield and trying to make big plays rather than working the ball down the field. The Cardinals have such a fast receiving core, it only makes sense to utilize crossing routes and quick outs to pick up 5-10 yards at a time. Those plays accumulate and it opens up the run game.
3 Use David Johnson appropriately
David Johnson is arguably the best running back in the game right now so it’s important to utilize him properly. The Cardinal’s offense is very dangerous, but it requires the proper balance of pass plays, run plays, and play-action plays for them to have an impact. He’s too good of an asset to sit in the backfield and protect the quarterback every play, but you can’t give him 40 carries a game every week either.
4 Play consistent defense
It almost seemed like each week there was a different defense on the field. One week the Cardinals were forcing turnovers left and right. Next week, they’re getting walked all over. If the Cardinals can find their stride and the right personnel to execute a consistent defensive scheme, they’ll have a better chance of winning games
5 Win divisional games
The Cardinals play in one of the weakest divisions in the league in the NFC West. The 49ers went 2-14 and the Rams only tallied 4 wins last year. If you’re playing both those teams twice a year, that should be an automatic 4-0. Then, if you split with Seattle and go 5-1 in the division, its a lot easier to put yourself in the position to either win the division or clinch a wildcard spot.
The season starts in just a few days and if the Cardinals can do these 5 things, they’ll be in good shape. You can bet the members of 600 Global will be watching.