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SI NFL Predictions 2018: Arizona Cardinals to bottom out in 2018

Sports Illustrated has the Arizona cardinals falling to 4-12 in 2018.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-OTA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There is a pretty big split on the take of the Arizona Cardinals heading into 2018.

Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager believes the Arizona Cardinals will compete for a playoff spot and possibly the division in 2018.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated is on the otherside of the spectrum, pegging the Cardinals to go 4-12 in 2018:

The Cardinals are going to have to find themselves in the desert this year. I believe first-year head coach Steve Wilks will soon have success in Arizona, but not this season. The quarterback situation with veteran Sam Bradford and future-of-the-franchise Josh Rosen will be a difficult one to navigate for the defensive-minded first-time head coach. There was a great deal of roster turnover this offseason for a team looking for a new identity.

The analysis doesn’s seem awful, but the prediction seems somewhat of a worst case scenario where the defense doesn’t develop the young talent in the new system, the offense cannot find an identity and Wilks is overwhelmed as a first time head coach.

Jones prediction has the Arizona Cardinals tying for the third worst record in the NFL, behind only two teams and tied with four other teams:

Buffalo Bills 2-14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-13-1
Chicago Bears 4-12
Indianapolis Colts 4-12
Denver Broncos 4-12
Cleveland Browns 4-12

Now, before we go screaming bias against the Cardinals, I looked at what Jones thought of the Cardinals in 2017 and he was quite high on the team still:


Speaking of favorable schedules, the Cardinals got one, too. Sure, they start the season on the road in consecutive games, but it’s against the Lions and Colts. They get a bye after their London trip to face the Rams and host three straight games in late November into early December. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald should get one more postseason trip before hanging it up.

So, it is not as though Jones has been a consistent non-believer in the Cardinals, it is more that he just doesn’t see much to get excited about in 2018.

He has the Cardinals finishing with at worst a top 7 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft while having the Cardinals finishing last in the NFC West:

Los Angeles Rams 12-4
San Francisco 49ers 10-6
Seattle Seahawks 7-9