It has been a season of questions.
Does Carson Palmer still have it? So far, yes.
Can the Cardinals David Johnson match last season? No.
Will the Cardinals offensive line improve from 2016? Through five games, no, but game six was better.
Could the defense make up for the losses in personnel?
That is where I want to land.
For those wondering, here is the full question: Now that the season has begun to play out, what would your team do today if they could go back and change one move they made in the offseason? Would it instead be a move or addition they didn't make?
Through six games, we know a couple of things:
- The Cardinals allow the fifth most points per game at 26.3
- They allow the seventh most pass yards per game at 250.3
- They allow the 11th most total yards per game.
- They have forced the eighth fewest turnovers in the NFL and are one of only three teams without a fumble recovery on the season.
The Cardinals went with a combination of youth and inexpensive veterans on the defensive side of the ball.
It has not worked.
That’s why, if the Cardinals could “undo” any move this offseason, it would be letting Calais Campbell walk.
While the signing of Chandler Jones was important, it seemed to be rather easy to get a contract sorted out. Instead of doing that first, then franchising Campbell to insure he was around for one more season, while also making sure that Robert Nkemdiche was ready for the spotlight.
Instead, the Cardinals gambled. They let Calais walk and he has been a part of the transformation of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
Campbell through six games has eight sacks (second most in the NFL), two more than Chandler Jones on the season, and is one away from tying his career high.
While you cannot foresee injuries, having Campbell would make the loss of Markus Golden significantly easier to deal with from a pass rushing perspective.
As of now, the Cardinals have one pass rushing threat on their roster in Jones.
With Campbell, they still have two, yet maybe even more importantly, they have an interior pass rusher who can push the pocket from the inside. Something they lack and something we will talk about later.
While the reality is Campbell is gone, if you gave me one magic wish to undo a transaction from this offseason, that would be it.
What about you?