Often times, it is really hard to speculate as to how a team will perform in the upcoming season before training camp has even opened. But it's what us writers like to do.
SB Nation and Niners Nation writer Dave Fucillo put together his list of power rankings, including each team in the NFL. Complete with each ranking is a set of explanations as to why each team could succeed, written by the respective team's blog.
Sadly, he was not very kind to our hometown team. The Cardinals came in as the 26th best team in the league.
Admittedly, there are quite a few questions that surround the team right now. Which quarterback will play and will they perform? Will Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells stay healthy? Can the offensive line live up to expectations?
All of that was covered in the bio that Jess provided to Fooch:
The Cardinals are going to rely on their defense that really came on in the second half of the season and guided the team to a 7-2 finish. On offense, there are a lot of questions, but there is potential. The receiving corp is talented, as are the tight ends. If both Beanie Wellsand Ryan Williams recover from their knee injuries, combined with LaRod Stephens-Howling, the running back position is also set.
It comes down to the play of the offensive line and quarterback. And it goes both ways. Better QB play makes the O-line look better, and the QB will be better if the O-line gives him time. The question is whether it will be Kevin Kolb or John Skelton. However, if the defense plays at least as well as it did down the stretch and the offense is at least average, Arizona could be a team to watch out for.
Still, after reading through the power rankings and looking at the teams ahead of the Cardinals, it's hard to envision them as the 26th best team going in. If I were to rank them myself (without being a homer), I would place them somewhere in the low 20's or high teens. I think the defense has the potential to be superb and they should carry this team a long way. No chance do the Cardinals let the 49ers walk away with the division the way they did last season.
What do you think? Should the Cardinals be higher on the list or did Fooch put them in the correct spot? Tell us in the comments section.