clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ROTB Roundtable: Jonathan Cooper, Playoff Contenders, and Best Division

Going into Week 8, the Cardinals are comfortably sitting atop the NFC West.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

But questions still remain.  The ROTB Writing Staff took a swing at three of these.

Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!

1) Should Jonathan Cooper be starting at LG?

Jesse Reynolds: Despite a good day running the ball in Oakland (against one of the worst run defenses) I think continuity should be challenged by starting Cooper. We need him for games in Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco. We need a guard who can pull and knock defenders on their bums. Larson and Fanaika have been serviceable but are definitely the weak link in the run game.

Alex Mann: No. Cooper is an excellent talent, but Ted Larsen has done a good job in his place. He may not be the run blocker Cooper has the POTENTIAL to be, but Larsen has done nothing to lose his job

Skii: My biggest concern to starting Cooper would be breaking the continuity of the line.  However, like Jesse said, Cooper has the potential to push the run blocking over the top, and for that, I think it would be wise to interject him at some point.

Jess Root: Well, this is tough. We all seem to trust the coaching ability of Bruce Arians, so that would mean Cooper is either not ready or not good enough. I would like to see him, but what if he's not better than Ted Larsen?

2) Do you think the Cardinals have proven themselves as legitimate playoff contenders, or have they still not shown us enough?

Jesse Reynolds: Against the hardest strength of schedule through week 7, my answer is they are a playoff team. The Cardinals aren't flashy or dominate but they win. They grind it out for 48 minutes and wear teams down. I think few teams can outclass Arizona.

Alex Mann: We've beaten two good teams, but failed to beat an elite team in the Broncos. These next two weeks are a true test to how the team can perform against some of the bigger teams.

Skii: While 5-1 is definitely nothing to laugh at, the main thing I seem to be hearing is that we've "not beaten a truly good team, and these next few weeks will see the Cardinals fall back down to the ground".  If we beat the Eagles and/or Cowboys, then they've proven themselves.

Jess Root: As contenders for the postseason, yes, they have. As contenders in the playoffs, not yet. We haven't seen a complete game from alll three phases. Something is an issue every game. I will be convinced with their play this week or next week.

3) 7 weeks into the season, which division has the rightful title as "best in the league"?

Jesse Reynolds: NFC West, but by a hair. The AFC West is in a close second with Denver, San Diego and Kansas City. The Seahawks and 49ers have struggled a bit this season but I think it's agreed that they are both tough teams to beat.

Alex Mann: I'd have to split it between the two West divisions.

Skii: I still think the NFC West is the toughest division, even if records aren't showing that right now.  The AFC West is right up there, and the Eagles and Cowboys have made the NFC East somewhat interesting again.

Jess Root: I think right now that has to go to the AFC West, although the Raiders are a disaster. But DEN, SD, KC looks to be a better group than AZ, SF, SEA, at least at the moment. The NFC East has to be in the mix, too.