The 2015 Arizona Cardinals are a team with high hopes, deep talent, and know that they have a shot to continue their early 2014 success now that they have Carson Palmer, a full fledged NFL caliber QB back under center. With Palmer back in the huddle and the news coming out of the players it is very reminiscent to the 2008 and 2009 Cardinals.
Let's take a look at some of the similarities:
- An aging QB who knows his time left in the NFL is short and he wants to end it with a championship.
- Larry Fitzgerald is learning how to change his game to help the team win and will do whatever it takes to win an NFL championship.
- A new power runner is drafted to supplement an elusive RB who is a threat as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
- The Cardinals have two highly talented wide receivers and a new talented wide receiver who has speed and is part of a triple threat.
- The Cardinals don't have a clear answer at pass rush, but have a lot of great prospects. Especially a veteran who is willing to play a situational role for the good of the team.
- An elusive runner who is not threatened by the high draft pick of a new running back who is thought to be a featured part of the offense.
- A tight end situation that has question marks all over it.
- A fullback who the head coach would like to get more involved in the game plan. (Hughes is a fullback everyone, we all know it.)
- The offenses are driven through the air with a needed emphasis on the running game.
Now let's take a look at some of the differences:
- The 2008/2009 Cardinals were lead by a Super Bowl winning QB who was not returning from season ending surgery.
- Hat tip to XLIII-almost - The 2015 Cardinals have a potentially top 10 Offensive line with the potential of three first round picks starting on it, with depth in case of injury. The 2008/2009 offensive line was truly offensive as shown after they all stuck around after Kurt Warner retired and QBs started being ravaged. It truly shed a spotlight on how special Warner was to the offense and how poor the line he played behind actually was.
- The 2015 Cardinals have a much more talented defense and coaching staff. 2014 team ranked 5th in the league allowing only 18.7 points per game (PPG). The 2008 Cardinals 14th with 26.6, 2009 13th with 20.3 PPG.
- Larry Fitzgerald is not the 1000+ yard touchdown machine who can dominate any defense.
- The 2015 Cardinals do not enter the season with two Pro Bowl wide receivers who feed off of each other and make defensive backs quiver trying to cover both of them.
- The 2015 Cardinals enter the season with a pool of talent in the secondary and the DBs are more of a strength to the team instead of a liability (2008 **cough** Aaron Francisco **cough**).
- The 2015 Cardinals start the season with a promising offense and a proven defense. The 2008/2009 Cardinals were basically an Offense only team and relied heavily on the Offense to win each week.
- The 2015 Cardinals Front Office is filled with a trusted evaluator of talent and building teams for a head coach with a winning record who is able to get the most out of his players.
I'm sure there are plenty more that I've missed. What similarities or differences between these teams do you see?