The ROTB Writing Staff took on three of these questions in this week's Roundtable edition.
Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!
1) What has been the biggest factor in the Cardinals 2-0 start to the season?
Jesse Reynolds: Luck. Two dropped picks, a botched snap and three unforced turnovers. Now I'm not all doom and gloom about the team, the boys in red have shown some serious grit and have taken advantage of every opportunity unlike Cardinals teams in the past. I'm just waiting for the complete win and I hope I see it Sunday.
Alex Mann: The defense, and lack of mistakes offensively. Defensively they have had their lulls, but they always find a way to rebound and make a big stand. That was the case late against San Diego, and again late against the Giants. The Cardinals committed two turnovers against San Diego, but both were fixable plays. Both Drew Stanton and Carson Palmer have been smart with their throws which is a huge factor in the 2-0 start.
Robert Norman: Andre Ellington. The two games were very different. Offensively, San Diego was a highlight reel and New York was more akin to a silent film. Defensively, the "bend not break" mentality is working, but even with their play had the Giants not shot themselves in the foot with the Rashad Jennings fumble (all the other turnovers were great defensive plays), it may have been a different story.
The one consistent factor in both games has been a decent running game. Ellington's ability to virtually turn any running play into a 10+ gain forces opponents to give credence when he's on the field. The success of the running game allows the Cards to control the game clock more effectively and has been limiting offensive possessions for the opponents. Without Ellington yesterday could have been a flashback to a pre-2013 football game. Well, without the passing turnovers because Stanton can throw with some accuracy.
2) Are you comfortable with Drew Stanton as the Cardinals starter (in place of the injured Carson Palmer)?
Jesse Reynolds: Not at all. He looked bad against a bad team. Again I'm not totally pessimistic as I se room for improvement. Starting in the road, in and early east coast game is tough for even established (west coast) starters but the Niners are a much better team and we will need to see everything Stanton has to offer.
Alex Mann: Why not? He didn't make the plays to lose the game last week, but after the first two drives that gave Arizona a 10-0 lead, he didn't make the plays to win the game. As long as he puts us in scoring position, and doesn't cost Arizona a win, I'll be fine with him.
Robert Norman: Yes. Sunday was exactly what a good backup quarterback should do. Don't make any terrible mistakes trying to be a hero and allow all the talented teammates around you help win the game. Does he stay too long in the pocket and get sacked a lot? Yes. Would I rather have Stanton get sacked than do some stupid throw as he is going down and have it intercepted? YES. Watching the Chargers vs the Giants game clearly shows just why Palmer is better. He makes anticipation throws, is quite fearless of risky moves that he can backup with his athleticism. Drew Stanton is not Palmer, but he's wise enough to not try to be Palmer.
3) Do you think the NFL has dealt with the Ray Rice controversy (as well as other players) in a fair way?
Jesse Reynolds: Oh heck no, I'm under the belief the league knew what Rice did and tried to dodge around it. I think he should be in jail, just like any one of us would be for doing the same. Same goes for Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson. None of us would get special treatment and neither should they. I'm all for heavy discipline and I believe harsh examples should be made. Star players banned for the year is a damn fine statement in my opinion.
Alex Mann: Not sure. Clearly they screwed it up, but did they actually see the tape? I have a feeling Goodell knew about the tape, but did not care to watch it. IF that's the case then no, he did not handle it fairly.
Robert Norman: Absolutely not. This past offseason has been the worst in recent memory for the NFL. First of all, it should never have gotten involved in doling out judgments, it's a modern day explanation as to why the Bill of Rights has the Sixth and Seventh Amendment. Players have been grossly over- or under- punished for similar crimes that have previously had different punishments. The sad fact is that statement could be made about just Ray Rice's situation alone, much less Greg Hardy, Donte Whitner, Ray McDonald, Santonio Holmes, and more. [Bear in mind some those names are not from current accusations].
Worse the NFL is now retroactively changing the punishments amid public outcry. The NFL's justice is a farce! It's not even taking into consideration the issues raised by the Washington Redskins name controversy or the most recent scandal involving Adrian Peterson and the Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.