The 2017 NFL season has officially began! The Arizona Cardinals first home game is week three against the Dallas Cowboys and Sierra Waste Systems will be there and ready. We are a proud sponsor of the Arizona Cardinals and are excited for the first home game of the 2017 season.
After increasing the win total from 10 to 11 to 13 in Bruce Arians’ first three seasons coaching the Cardinals, the 2016 season had very high expectations. On paper, the roster looked better than the Cardinal team that made the NFC Championship game the year before. After being picked to play in the Super Bowl by some experts, the Cardinal finished with a 7-8-1 record last year.
2017 Season Outlook
With the 2016 season being plagued with injuries, slumps in the passing game and mistakes in close games, the Cardinals missed the playoffs and finished last in the division. All-pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Carson Palmer both considered retirement during the offseason. Coach Arians’ future with the team was questionable due to health reasons.
All three are back for the 2017 season to attempt at least one more run to get to the Super Bowl. Although the outside expectations of the team are lower after a losing season, internally, there is a sense of urgency and confidence throughout the team. The Cardinals are motivated to get Fitzgerald and Palmer a Super Bowl title before they retire.
Three Offensive Keys
When Palmer has time to throw, he has proven to be an efficient passer, but his lack of mobility means the offensive line must be above average. The line was plagued with injuries last year. There were games last season when Palmer had no chance. If the Cardinals plan on winning, protecting the passer is a must.
Feed DJ The Rock
There are several question marks on the offense this year, but David Johnson can cover a lot of it up. Whether through receptions or carries, Arians will like to get the ball to Johnson at least 30 times per game. That seems excessive, but Johnson must be the focal point of this offense if they want be successful.
Balance In The Passing Game
Although Arians likes to go deep, Palmer has to do a better job taking what the defense gives him. Developing a short passing game will benefit the Cardinals this year. The deep-ball attack worked very well in 2015, but not as well in 2016. Having a shorter, low risk passes.
Offensive Players To Watch
- QB Carson Palmer
- RB David Johnson
- WR Larry Fitzgerald
- LT DJ Humphries
- WR John Brown
Three Defensive Keys
No. 2 Cornerback
Justin Bethel is healthy and claimed his starting job heading into the season. Patrick Peterson is a solid defender, but the defense can’t reach its potential if to cover man opposite of him doesn’t do his job. Tramon Williams and Brandon Williams will have an opportunity to play if Bethel struggles throughout the season.
Win The Battle Upfront
The front office didn’t add anyone of note following Campbell’s departure, believing in the returning players to pick up the slack. Nkemdiche, Josh Mauro, Corey Peters, Frostee Rucker and Olsen Pierre will lead a rotation which hopes to get interior pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuff the run. If the line is subpar, the defense may take a step back.
The defense will not be successful if the defensive of line is below average. Josh Mauro, Corey Peters, Frostee Rucker, Olsen Pierre and Robert Nkemdiche are responsible for pressuring opposing quarterbacks. The front office has a lot of confidence in the players they have as they opt not to find a replacement for Calais Campbell.
Great Play By Rookies
The Cardinals used 13th overall pick in the draft on inside linebacker Haasan Reddick and used the 36th pick on safety Budda Baker. They both had an opportunity to showcase their talents in the preseason, but they both made several mistakes. There is no question they can be big contributors on the defense as they gain experience as the season goes on.
The Cardinals lost 5 defensive starters in to free agency in the offseason. The defense will be looking to newcomers to step up and make plays on defense.
Other Players To Watch On Defense
- DT Robert Nkemdiche
- LB Markus Golden
- CB Patrick Peterson
- LB Chandler Jones
- LB Chandler Jones
Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals
Both teams enter week 3 with a 1-1 record. The Cardinals look to build off their overtime win from last week against the Indianapolis Colts and the Cowboys look to bounce back from a lost and a very bad performance against the Denver Broncos.
This will be the 89th time these two teams face each other. The Cowboys have won 55 of those games, but the Cardinals have beat the Cowboys the last 4 times they met.
We cannot wait for Monday Night Football!