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It is the middle of the offseason on a holiday weekend. The NFL has begun OTAs and free agency is basically done, with just a smathering of notable players left unsigned.
Where do we see the teams in the NFL as to how they will do?
Pro Football Focus put together new offseason power rankings. The Buffalo Bills sit atop the league as we approach summer.
Where do the Arizona Cardinals rank? They come in at No. 14.
The Cardinals somehow made a big splash move over the offseason and still may have lost ground to their rivals. Marquise Brown was acquired in a trade for their first round pick, but Brown has to replace DeAndre Hopkins as the team’s No. 1 receiver for the duration of Hopkins’ suspension (six games) before he can add value relative to last year’s offense. The team also lost Christian Kirk and Chandler Jones — two important players at key positions. Arizona’s success relies on it finding a way to not tail off again as the season progresses.
They are seventh in the NFC so it would seem that their outlook is a playoff team for the second straight year.
Ahead of them in the NFC are the No. 2 Buccaneers, No. 3, Rams, No. 6 Packers, No. 9 49ers, No. 12 Cowboys and No. 13 Eagles.
The 49ers continue to be an interesting team in terms of expectations. They are moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. He is 31-14 as a starter for the 49ers.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan, with any other quarterback starting other than Garoppolo, is 8-28.
It is odd to think that an inexperienced Trey Lance is going to maintain that level of success.
Brown does not have to be the Cardinals’ No. 1 receiver while Hopkins is out, but they will need production across the pass catchers — Brown, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz — until Hopkins returns.
Many remember the offensive decline last season. Many forget that the defensive decline was bad. Injuries depleted the defensive line and the secondary.
Luckily, they will be without Hopkins when the team is relatively healthy.
The Cardinals should be playoff contenders. They might not be as great as they were when they started the season, but this team was an 11-win squad even with a bad ending. They should be very much in the mix in the NFC.