The Arizona Cardinals have made sure to fill some gaps ahead of the regular season. Given their letdown defeat in the NFC Wild Card last season, it appears that the Cards are ready to develop some continuity.
While that may be the case, analysts at Bleacher Report feel that Arizona could find trouble early on in its championship aspirations.
“For one, the team lost a few key contributors that are going to be difficult to replace,” wrote Alex Ballentine. “Chandler Jones walked in free agency after notching 10.5 sacks last season. Christian Kirk led the team in receiving last season and took a lucrative deal in Jacksonville.”
Ballentine also notes from a positive aspect that Arizona was able to find relief in acquiring wideout Marquise Brown, but it does leave a bit of chemistry to be produced for a squad that’s eager to put itself atop that rankings. The Cards will also be without DeAndre Hopkins throughout their first six games of the season. Hopkins will be serving his suspension due to performance-enhancing drugs.
On the defensive end, Arizona took a blow after cornerback Antonio Hamilton injured himself in a cooking accident resulting in burns. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury had lauded the 29-year-old’s training camp efforts. Hamilton, per Kingsbury, had earned himself a starting role as well. The Cardinals were able to trade for Trayvon Mullen Jr. prior to Hamilton’s accident, however. Mullen will have to provide additional support to a short-staffed defense.
Lastly, Arizona’s schedule won’t be kind as the season gets underway. Week 1 will see the Cardinals go up against an intimidating Kansas City Chiefs squad. The Chiefs, like the Cardinals, will be trying to find some success in the passing game after losing Tyreek Hill. The next two games will involve the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Rams.