It is kind of hard to bag on a team that went 10-6, won their division, and advanced to the second round of the NFL playoffs. 2009 was a pretty good year for the Arizona Cardinals, but I see a big drop off coming. QB Kurt Warner retired, the offense will be turned back over to Matt Leinart, and they traded WR Anquan Boldin. I see no plan to replace these key figures in the offense. Alas, that is for next year, let us allow the Cardinals fans to enjoy their 2009 campaign.
In 2009 the Cardinals scored 375 points or 23.4 points/game. That was good enough for the 11th best NFL scoring offense in 2009. Led by Warner who threw for 3,753 yards, completed 66.1% of his passes, and had 26 TD passes while throwing just 14 interceptions. The good news here is Leinart also completed 66% of his passes filling in for an injure Warner. On the ground this tem gained just 1,494 yards and did not feature a 1,000 yard rusher.
The Cardinal defense gave up 325 points or 20.3 points per game. That was good enough for the 14h best NFL defense, and their take away differential was -7. This suggests that the Cardinal defense needs a little work. Since this defense gave up over 1,800 yards rushing the work may lie with an upgrade to the Linebacker corps. Since they lost Karlos Dansby, who was their leading tackler in 2009, to the Miami Dolphins in free agency that seems to be were this team will direct its attention in the coming NFL draft.
While they recently made, an apperance in the Super Bowl, it seems the Cardinals are destined to return to the kind of team they have been for much of their history. A team that is poorly managed, and constantly under achieves. That is too bad, but what are you going to do?