10-6 (9-7 ATS), 1st Place NFC West in 2009
The Arizona Cardinals are in a rare position in 2010, as they are now a two-time defending NFC West champion. However, a ton of changes in the offseason is going to make for a very interesting year in the desert, as HC Ken Whisenhunt tries to piece together a team that looks nothing like the one that he guided to the Super Bowl just two years ago.
2010 Draft: Whisenhunt now has the massive nose tackle that he has really needed in order to employ a true 3-4 scheme in Arizona. DT Dan Williams is 330 pounds of sheer muscle, and though he will never be a man that is on the stat sheet for much of any reason, he can eat a couple holes in opposing offensive lines and occupy two men at once. He is built in the Casey Hampton type of mold, and if Williams can bring that same sort of power to the middle of Arizona's defense line, the Cards have a real force in the middle of their defense to now build around.
Offensive Outlook: QB Kurt Warner finally decided to call it a career after last season, which now finally opens the door for QB Matt Leinart to take control of this team. There is still a serious question about whether the USC product really has the goods to lead an NFL franchise or not, but if he can't, don't be surprised if someone else is placed under center in a hurry. The Cards made it a point to trade up in the fifth round to snare Fordham QB John Skelton, a man that many are comparing to Baltimore's Joe Flacco. Losing WR Anquan Boldin to the Ravens won't help the offense either. What once resembled the "Greatest Show on Turf" might just be a matter of Leinart chucking the ball up to WR Larry Fitzgerald a dozen times per game. That might not be such a bad strategy. Fitzgerald has amassed 465 catches for 6,287 yards and 51 scores over the L/5 seasons.
Defensive Outlook: Getting rid of LB Karlos Dansby and DB Antrel Rolle isn't going to help matters for the Cardinals either. Arizona was already bad on defense as it was in 2009, averaging allowing 346.4 yards per game (20th in the NFL) and 20.3 points per game (14th). Those numbers were only inflated as well due to the fact that the Cards' schedule was relatively and proportionately weak thanks to the division that they played in. Take away the 11.7 points per game that they conceded during divisional games and all of a sudden, the Cardinals don't look so big and bad defensively any longer.
2010 Betting Outlook: Be very careful with Arizona this year. This is a team that has more question marks about it than any other in the league, and with that in mind, the oddsmakers are probably going to lean towards giving it the benefit of the doubt, especially in early season games against teams like the Rams, Raiders, Seahawks, and Bucs. Also know that this offense was overrated all season last year, and that really showed in the Cardinals' 5-11 record for 'over' bettors on the season.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Arizona Cardinals Predictions: 7-9, 2nd Place in NFC West 2010 Arizona Cardinals Schedule
Arizona Cardinals Odds To Win NFC West: +220
Arizona Cardinals Odds To Win NFC: +2000
Arizona Cardinals Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +5000
Arizona Cardinals Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 over -105 We aren't much for Arizona this year, even though this is an incredibly weak division that is very much so up in the air. There have been too many changes made, and unless either Leinart is significantly better than we ever gave him credit for or Whisenhunt is a genius of a head coach, this year should be a major step back for the Cardinals.
Week 1 - Away @ Rams
Week 2 - Away @ Falcons
Week 3 - Home vs. Raiders
Week 4 - Away @ Chargers
Week 5 - Home vs. Saints
Week 6 - Bye
Week 7 - Away @ Seahawks
Week 8 - Home vs. Buccaneers
Week 9 - Away @ Vikings
Week 10 - Home vs. Seahawks
Week 11 - Away @ Chiefs
Week 12 - Home vs. 49ers
Week 13 - Home vs. Rams
Week 14 - Home vs. Broncos
Week 15 - Away @ Panthers
Week 16 - Home vs. Cowboys
Week 17 - Away @ 49ers
Arizona Cardinals Predictions: 7-9, 2nd Place in NFC West
2010 Arizona Cardinals Schedule