Arizona Cardinals: What we learned week 5

How you like me now? - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What do we know about the Arizona Cardinals after 5 weeks into the 2013 season?

After 5 weeks of NFL play the Arizona Cardinals sport a 3-2 record, 0-1 in the division. Aside from the record, what notes can be taken away from the performances to date?

Here are my thoughts on the team as a whole.

  • Carson Palmer is regressing. 5TD to 9 interceptions should say enough but I'll take it one step further. I can no longer say Larry Fitzgerald is an elite player. Why you ask? Simple, he hasn't had a QB who can throw him the ball in so long that now when I say he's elite, I'm calling up ancient history. Through 5 games Fitzgerald is averaging just under 5 receptions and 57 yards per game. That's a shame as it equates to less than 1000 yards on the season.
  • The offense isn't as good as Bruce Arians promised. I see the potential, but I don't see the results. At the end of the day that rides on one person. The QB you chose isn't getting it done. The offensive line you direct needs help. The RB you brought in is barely towing the line.
  • Andre Ellington > Rashard Mendenhall. Yes, I am a believer in that statement. However, that won't change the starting lineup as Coach Arians has noted Ellington will only get 30 - 35 looks combined rushing/receiving in a game. After this year though, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cards took a look as some other free agent possibilities.
  • Rob Housler who? At this point in the season Jim Dray has more TDs and receptions. Is this the year to look for another TE in the draft?
  • The defense under Todd Bowles is better than I expected, so I will retract my earlier statements about the qualifications of the DC. The team has retained the bend don't break mantra.
  • Daryl Washington is the heart of this defense, and he showed the reason why in his first game back, with stats like 9 tackles (8 solo), 3 TFL, 2 sacks and an interception. Hopefully he's figured out the straight and narrow.
  • Levi Brown is gone. The front office means business. I know the first sentence brings joy to many Cards fans. Brown never had the chops to play LT, it isn't in his composition. Now RT, we might have seen a different player. Best of luck to Pittsburgh.
As I've stated before, I have the Cards pegged as a 5-11 team for the year. The lack of offense and depleted depth in defense due to injury will make it hard for the Cards to stay in games down the stretch. Perhaps the offense will find some of the magic gel, and the season will turn. After all, that's why they play 16 games.
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