Seahawks Rival Watch: NFC West

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3. Arizona Cardinals: 2-3

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

Last year’s NFC West division champion, the Arizona Cardinals have had a rough start to the 2016 season to say the least. Arizona entered the year with Super Bowl expectations after trading for Chandler Jones and regaining key players back from injury, like Tyrann Mathieu.

Bruce Arians squad has failed to live up to that potential this year, at least so far. While Jones and his 4.0 sacks have exceeded expectations thus far, the rest of the Cardinals haven’t picked up the slack. Carson Palmer is playing less like an MVP candidate and more like a 36-year-old veteran. David Johnson has emerged as a top-flight running back, but a weapon of his caliber should be getting the ball more often.

Future Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald continues to be an ageless wonder, but fellow WR’s John Brown and Michael Floyd have been plagued by injuries and inconsistency this year. They may also be without offensive linemen Evan Mathis and Mike Iupati for awhile after both guards suffered ankle injuries on Thursday.

Star slot cornerback and defensive weapon Tyrann Mathieu has had a rusty start to the season, while young cornerbacks Brandon Williams and Marcus Cooper have been torched by opposing QB’s opposite Patrick Peterson. However, this dynamic defense will need some help in order to catch up to the Seahawks and Rams (gulp).

Now, Arizona definitely has the talent on both sides of the ball to bounce back and run the table, so these next few games are crucial. The Seahawks face off against the Cardinals Week 7 on Sunday Night Football at Century Link Field. Seattle travels to Arizona again for a Week 16 matchup that may have potential playoff implications.