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2015 NFL projections: Arizona Cardinals to have losing season, finish 6-10

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What???

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It appears the Arizona Cardinals could not get all good press this offseason. After 21 wins in two seasons and a playoff appearance, the Cardinals have begun to be noticed by national media outlets. But a recent set of projections has the Cardinals faltering this season.

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, writing an ESPN Insider article, projects the records of all NFC teams for 2015.

His projections have the Cardinals finishing 6-10 on the season, third place in the NFC West.

There are...a number of questions revolving around the projection for the Arizona Cardinals. We might be forecasting their defense as too strong because of the importance of departed defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. We also might be forecasting their offense as too weak because the system doesn't fully compensate for the drop in Arizona's offense when the Cardinals were forced to start a quarterback, Ryan Lindley, who wasn't on their roster to start the season. On the other hand, Arizona ranked 23rd in offensive DVOA, if we count all 16 games. If we only count games started by Carson Palmer, the Cardinals would have ranked ... 23rd, in exactly the same place except a little closer to No. 22 Minnesota. Arizona's overall performance was weak for a playoff team even before Lindley took over as quarterback, and teams like that tend to decline. On the other hand -- back to the subjective questions about head coaches -- Bruce Arians' record of outperforming statistics over the past three seasons is extremely strong.

While you might feel outrage toward Schatz, he does raise important questions. The defense is a question mark. There is talent, but what will it look  like with new DC James Bettcher? How long will it take for the players to adjust? Will they play more like the start of 2014 pr more like the end of 2014?

The offense wasn't good even with Carson Palmer last year. It was good enough. However, with an improved line and more running back talent, the unit should improve.

Arians is a master of outperforming expectations and Schatz recognizes that,

I don't agree with the projection (I pick them to go 10-6), there is logic behind it.

Are you ready to bring out the torches and pitchforks? Do you care or does Schatz raise real questions for you?