- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Cardinals expect to make the playoffs. Some who cover the NFL believe that is possible.
Others think they will be a last-place team in the NFC West and finish under .500.
Just what is the floor, barring a catastrophic injury to someone like QB Kyler Murray, and what is the ceiling for the Cardinals this season, and what is a reasonable projection for how they will do?
The Cardinals' 2021 floor: 8-9, missing the playoffs
(AP Photo/Matt York)
Barring a serious injury to quarterback Kyler Murray, this team shouldn't be worse than last season. They won eight games last year with the offense falling apart last in the season and with a number of injuries on defense. They will be a competitive team. At worst, they will be a middling team. Murray is too good a quarterback to be bad. The offense will be better. The defense is better, although they are relying on some young players. At 8-9, they might be the worst team in the division, as good as the rest of the NFC West could be.
The Cardinals' 2021 ceiling: 13-4 and the Super Bowl
I have consistently said this for months. I believe every team in the NFC West has a Super Bowl ceiling. The Cardinals have the pieces on offense and on defense, combined with Murray taking steps forward as a passer, to be great. If they stay healthy and players they are counting on produce, they could be as good as the Buffalo Bills were last year or the San Francisco 49ers the year before when they went to the Super Bowl. They are talented enough to get on a roll like we saw in the middle of last season and see that go most of the year and through the playoffs.
Expected projection: 10-7, making the playoffs
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Cardinals will not roll through the NFC West. It is too good. However, expecting them to go 3-3 in the division is reasonable. They need to do that. They have improved each of the last two years and have added talent. With a tough schedule, they will not win all their tough games, but they will be able to take the next step as a team and make the postseason. If they can do what the Cleveland Browns did last year, winning double-digit games and also picking up a playoff victory, this season has been a reasonable success.