Arians knows Cardinals are close

AP

The best team in the NFL resides in the NFC West.  The second best team in the NFL resides in the NFC West.

And a strong argument can be made that the third best team in the NFL resides in the NFC West.

The Cardinals — the only team to win a game in Seattle in 2012 or 2013 — aren’t far behind the Seahawks and the 49ers, which puts the Cardinals ahead of the other 29 teams.  Their second-year head coach knows how close the Cardinals are.

“[W]e’re so excited about getting back because we know how close we are,” Arians said Thursday, via the York (Pa.) Dispatch.  “We played San Francisco to two games that were winnable and then split with Seattle and split with St. Louis, so we have a chance to win our division and we know we’re a pretty good football team.”

If the Cardinals win their division, they very well could win the conference and, in turn, the Lombardi Trophy.  Indeed, only three years after the NFC West sent a sub-.500 team to the playoffs, the NFC West has become as strong as any division has been, perhaps since the AFL-NFL merger.

With more than $9 million in cap space generated by the restructuring of receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s contract, look for the Cardinals to go all in as they try to close the gap, dangling to potential free agents the opportunity to try to slay the current giants of pro football, who may be so busy battling with each other they don’t realize the Cardinals are catching up with them.

46 responses to “Arians knows Cardinals are close

  1. The NFC West has morphed into the most feared division, boy 3 or 4 years ago they were the worst, now that belongs to the NFC East.

  2. Panthers, Bengals, Saints, Packers, Broncos, Colts, Patriots, and maybe Falcons and Bears will be better than the Cards in 2014-15. They are a very good team, but not close to the third best team in the NFL.

  3. I was in New Orleans when the Saints crushed the Cardinals this year. It wasn’t even close.

    The Hawks and Niners are the cream of the crop. Don’t try and act like Arizona even belongs.

  4. As a Hawks fan I feel that AZ loss at home was good for us and allowed us to beat the Niners in the real SB. Its going to be awesome to see how the NFC west does against the Broncos this year. Who ever wins this division has a real shot at the SB but its a nasty NFC gang. Our division plus the Panthers and Saints makes it tough.

  5. It will be a tough battle between 4 teams.

    Having a season without the upheaval of last year will help. And getting lots of injured rookies back will be like having 2 drafts this year.

  6. Gonna be fun next year. Four great defenses pounding each other’s offense. I hope the team that survives can keep the Lombardi in the NFC West.

  7. Arians and Palmer made the Cardinals relevant again. The NFC West is easily the best division in football.

    What were the Steelers thinking letting Arians go? They should have fired Tomlin and kept Arians.

  8. Yeah, right. The Cardinals are the worst organization in football. Literally zero championships since 1950.

  9. Arians is the best coach in the game. Twice he has taken teams with horrible records and made them into serious contenders by the end of the following season.

    Cards D and Special teams is scary good

  10. They have a strong defense but no running game and a quarterback that makes tons of mistakes. It’s impressive what they did last year but unless they add more talent on offense, I can’t see them being better than 3rd in the division.

  11. Also remember the Cardinals beat the Panthers and Colts. They get their #1 pick, OG Jonathan Cooper back from a knee injury to improve the O Line. Figure on the Cardinals also taking a Left Tackle early in the draft or in Free Agency.

    Add in a better kick returner and the Cards should give the Seahawks and Niners a fight for the top of the NFC West.

  12. 3rd best team in nfl? Maybe top 10 but top 3 is a little absurd. Especially with Palmer at the helm. He had a better year but each week I’m expecting him to have 178yd 4int stat line.

  13. So long as the Cards have Palmer who manages to lob one to the defense at least once a game, I don’t think the NFC West is too worried. They will be tight games as always. But the X factor is Palmers 4th quarter drive/game killing INT’s.

  14. AZ was the last team to beat Seattle before they went on their way to the SB Championship. I don’t think the Seahawks are going to take them lightly nor realize they are catching up to them. In fact, I suspect that they expect a battle out of the other three teams in the division at a level higher than most any other team they face next season. So be it…..

  15. arians did a great job coaching the last 2 years in indy as an interim coach and last with the cards but he still has carson palmer as his qb , that means he is not real close regardless of the surrounding talent. Palmer has never won a playoff game and may never .

  16. You’re not close until you win the division. All you get by being close is a dejected fan base if you can’t pull it off.

  17. Sorry Bruce, but you will finish 3rd or 4th in the division as long as Carson Palmer is your starting Qb

  18. There’s no telling who’s going to take the division next season, amongst the top 3 in the NFC West. It’s see the strength and competitiveness in the West!

    49ers need large lockdown CB, large speedy YAC WR, versatile center and to re-sign all vital personnel. I hope Boldin gets re-signed!

    Go NINERS!

  19. To those who are complaining about Palmer: if you watched AZ at all this year, you’d know the biggest flaw was the OL, not QB play. He had a slow start but awful protection most of the year and had quite a few INTs on account of receivers running the wrong route. He’s not Aaron Rodgers, but give him a clean pocket and another offseason to work with his receivers and he’s got a big advantage that Rodgers, Manning and Brady don’t have: an elite defense to get him the ball back.

  20. Third best team and a SB run with Palmer? Probably need an OL or two … no QB can win SB without a good OL. Manning included, although he deserves his share of the blame for sure.

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