The Cardinals this season went from Super Bowl favorite, to playoff hopeful and not to a team that is just playing out the remainder of their schedule. With many of their top players being put on the shelf for the remainder of the season, those remaining look to try and ruin their division rival Seahawks’ hopes of a first round bye.
Dance With Who Brought You
David Johnson would be in an MVP discussion right now had the team around him been in any way involved in the playoff race. As of right now he has three more total touchdowns than Ezekiel Elliot and is shockingly close to having a 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same year with his 1,138 yards on the ground and 800 as a receiver out of the backfield. Week in and week out he has been the most effective weapon on the Cardinals offense besides Larry Fitzgerald. That kind of reliability is why for the remaining two games Arians should just focus on giving the young man a chance to earn the right to be the focus of the offense for next season. He has been a workhorse every single week and it would be a good idea to see just how strong he can finish the season. If he ends it well enough, the Cardinals could look to build their team around Johnson in the coming years.
What To Do With Palmer
This year’s edition of Carson Palmer was closer to his time with the Raiders. Throwing passes into defender’s arms. Never noticing the pass rush coming around him and when he did notice it, trying to become the mobile quarterback he has never been in his entire career. This team needed last year’s Palmer in order to progress down the path of being a Super Bowl favorite. Against the Seahawks erlier in the year the team could not get more than 6 points and ended up tying against their division opponent but Palmer himself had a very good game against the Legion of Boom. Throwing for over 350 yards he seemingly put the team in every position possible to win. This matchup will see the team going against a team without Earl Thomas watching the back end. If Palmer can get a few good deep looks to J.J. Nelson the Cardinals might have a better chance of finishing this one in regulation this time.
Cat On A Hot Tightrope
To say Chandler Catanzaro has been on the bubble of being cut throughout this season would be an understatement. As a franchise, the Cardinals have had their fair share of special teams botches and single individuals that have been the centerpieces to those. Neil Rackers years ago missed a pretty easy field goal for him back in 2007 on the Monday Night Miracle game where the team earlier kicked the ball to Devin Hester, which like most kicks that year resulted in a touchdown, only to watch Rackers run off the field screaming at himself over missing the kick. Catanzaro has not had the same level of emotion after his misses, but he has had quite a lot of them that the team needed to win games. Misses against the Patriots and the Seahawks that if he could just put those through the uprights he would add two wins to the Cardinals’ record right now. The likelihood is that Arians and the team will look to sign on another kicker in the preseason to start a kicking battle, but Catanzaro could stave off that inevitability if he just does his job through the next two weeks without incident. If he chokes again, look for Arizona to have yet another placekicker come next year.
The game will kick off from CenturyLink Field at 2:25 PM this Saturday on FOX.