NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock was a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday. He was asked a pretty simple question. Are the Arizona Cardinals elite with their 4-1 record? So far this year, the knock on the Cardinals is they have not played any quality competition. Mayock didn't hesitate to answer.
"I don't think there's any doubt they're elite," he said.
Mayock raved about Carson Palmer and his play, especially the way he has been throwing, citing his ball placement and pocket awareness at age 36. He likes the running game. He does have some concern about the consistency of the offensive line, especially on the right side with Jonathan Cooper and Bobby Massie. "I think the right side struggles a bit sometimes — Bobby Massie — but again, that's nit picking," he indicated.
He was surprised at how well the defense is doing.
"You know it was interesting, it showed their depth in their secondary when they lose (Antonio) Cromartie and don't even blink," Mayock said. "And there's so much talent back there."
And one of their safeties doesn't even play safety, as Deone Bucannon plays linebacker, or as the team now shows it -- $LB.
They have an offense that is rolling, a defense that can be stifling.
"This is as good a team as there is in the NFL when they're healthy," Mayock said.
They are not completely healthy, but they are healthy. What does that mean? The elite Cardinals are as tough a team out there as you will find.
As I continue to say, it is a great time to be a Cardinals fan.