The Arizona Cardinals are off to a 3-0 start in the young 2012 NFL season, along with just two other teams. Yet although they have the same record, all anyone wants to really talk about are the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, who are the only other teams who are also off to a 3-0 start.
Yet it is the Cardinals who have more impressive victories so far through the first three games, at least in comparison to the Falcons and Texans. They are being overlooked and underestimated so far, but this team is for real.
I am not ready to declare that the Cardinals are a Super Bowl team. I still need to see more out of them before I put them in that class. But when you look at their three wins and then look at the three wins by the Falcons and Texans, why is it that Arizona is not receiving the same amount of attention.
The Texans were a very trendy Super Bowl pick this season, and with good reason. They now have one of the strongest defenses in the game, and the offense is more than capable of putting up enough points to win big games. They have outscored their three opponents 88-42 on their way to a 3-0 record. But two of those wins came against teams expected to finish in last place in their own division in the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. Last week, the Texans had to hold on to defeat the Denver Broncos.
The Falcons are another very talented team who can play well on both sides of the ball. But look at their three wins. Yes, they have outscored their three opponents by a combined score of 94-48, but two of their wins also came against teams with losing records thus far. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs and Broncos, who are a combined 2-4, and knocked off the overrated San Diego Chargers last Sunday. Impressive, sure. But lets wait and see what happens when they play against more well rounded teams.
As for the cardinals, their three wins have not looked as good when you simply look at how much they outscored their opponents by, with a total of just 67-40. But the fact that they beat the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles is something that speaks for itself. Simply put, Arizona has knocked off some highly rated teams.
I understand why the Falcons and Texans get more attention from the media due to the fact that they have more recognizable players. Kevin Kolb is not Matt Schaub or Matt Ryan. Ryan Williams is not Michael Turner or Arian Foster. While Larry Fitzgerald is as good as Roddy White, Julio Jones or Andre Johnson, he is one of few players that many fans can even name on the current Cardinals roster. But that does not mean that this team is not talented.
Patrick Peterson is well on his way to becoming a perennial Pro-Bowler on defense and special teams. Calais Campbell is an absolute beast on the defensive line. Jamall Flemming is also an up-and-coming cornerback capable of big plays. This team has playmakers.
When you consider that the offense has not really gotten going yet, more time together will only make them better. Kevin Kolb is still re-learning the offense. Ryan Williams is just getting ready to have an impact on the running game. Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts are just starting to contribute to the pass game.
Whether you are ready for them or not, the 2012 Cardinals have come to play.
Tagged with: Andre Johnson, Andre Roberts, Arian Foster, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Calais Campbell, Houston Texans, Julio Jones, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Michael Turner, Parick Peterson, Roddy White, Ryan Williams