NFC West Notebook with a Seattle Seahawks bias
Will this be Carson Palmer’s last season as a Cardinal? Can Palmer stay healthy? If not, what can Bruce Arians and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals expect from the backup quarterbacks? (And on a personal note, I was happy to see Drew Stanton reassert himself as QB2 for the Cardinals against the Oakland Raiders. I think the NFL has been plagued enough by the quarterback play of Blaine Gabbert.)
Obviously, the Cardinals will be the biggest obstacle to the Seahawks taking the NFC West crown. And with franchise favorites Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald getting longer in the tooth, the Cardinals may play like a team that knows their window is closing soon. They’ll also need both of those guys to stay healthy if they want a strong showing during the season and a chance to get into the playoffs.
They will have some help, though. Running back David Johnson is a bad, bad man.
And with ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reporting that Johnson is working on his pass blocking skills, the already deeply talented back is working on becoming the most well-rounded RB in the NFL. That doesn’t bode well for Seattle—either he’s earning yards with his feet, putting up receiving numbers with his hands, or giving Palmer time in the pocket with his body.
Arians seems pretty unhappy with his wide receivers, however. According to ESPN, the coach said Monday, “Must’ve been seeing things back in the spring when I saw we had twelve guys that could play in the NFL. We have two.” Richard Sherman probably didn’t hate seeing that go out over the wire.
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The rest of the team is pretty solid, though, and with the addition of safeties Budda Baker and Rudy Ford, linebacker Haason Reddick, and the return of defensive tackle and 2016 top pick Robert Nkemdiche—who our friends at Raising Zona raved about this week—the team has a wealth of talent to add into the mix of an already talented team.
The good news for the Seahawks however is that the first game against the Cardinals isn’t until November, meaning they should be in midseason form. This should mean the Cardinals are facing off against one of the best teams in the league. On the other side of that coin, so could the Seahawks.