After crawling to the finish line in each past two seasons, the Arizona Cardinals are back in 2022 with hopes of winning their first NFC West title since 2015.
Here’s a look at the Cardinals’ offseason, 2022 outlook, and NFC West odds at the online sportsbook:
Arizona Cardinals (2021 Record: 11-6)
Biggest Addition: Marquise Brown
The acquisition of Hollywood Brown is one of the best offseason moves across the NFL.
The 24-year-old just notched career-highs in targets, receptions, and yards in an offense that wasn’t necessarily known for throwing the ball. With DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six games of the season, Brown will likely be quarterback Kyler Murray’s top option out of the gate in 2022. His performance will be paramount to the team’s early-season success.
Biggest Loss: Christian Kirk
Kirk was a solid second fiddle to Hopkins in 2021 and is now off to Jacksonville on a monstrous contract.
While he may not be worth what the Jaguars paid, it’s still a hit to a talented receiving group. But between the aforementioned Brown and Hopkins combined with A.J. Green and Rondale Moore, Arizona should be fine without Kirk’s services this season.
X-Factor: James Conner
It felt like every time you turned your head while watching the late window on the Red Zone Channel, James Conner was in the end zone.
The 26-year-old was one of the bigger surprises at the running back position in 2021, with 18 scrimmage touchdowns, accounting for 35 percent of the team’s punch-ins on the season. With Chase Edmonds out of the picture, Conner may need to take on an even more significant workload to keep this rushing attack relevant.
NFC West Futures Market
Line Movement: +320 -> +300
Amount of tickets: 18.8%
Amount of handle: 20.4%
Everybody is down on the Cardinals heading into the training camp, so it may be time to zig while others zag.
Arizona might have a coach on the NFL hot seat but they also have a Pro Bowl-level quarterback, two stud wide receivers, and a running back who stood only behind Austin Ekeler and Jonathan Taylor in scrimmage touchdowns a season ago. Zach Ertz was an incredible in-season addition at tight end and won’t be leaving anytime soon after inking a three-year deal this summer. If the defense can continue to force turnovers at a high rate – they had 27 in 2021, the fourth-most in the NFL – then this team can undoubtedly compete within a wide-open NFC West.
With the 49ers lacking a proven quarterback and the Seahawks in full rebuild mode, this could come down to Arizona and the defending-champion Rams. You’re getting this price on a team in contention to win the division in the final week of the regular season in 2021. The Cardinals feel undervalued at this number.
Buy or Sell?
I’m buying the Cardinals at this reasonable number to win the NFC West in 2022.
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