Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals are not happy with their loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game last season. It was a painful way to end their season, especially after the high emotions they were coming off of from their overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers the week before.
There are high expectations heading into the 2016 NFL season, and many believe that the Cardinals will be one of the top two teams in the conference once again.
Arizona has been building up over the past few years, and they have done so very carefully. They have been patient and have built up their roster through the draft for the most part. Bringing in some veteran players throughout the process has been vital for the Cardinals, and there weren't many holes for the Cardinals to fill this offseason.
That being said, other teams in the NFC did improve their rosters throughout the offseason. Arizona will once again have to battle with the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West division, but both the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers improved as well. Green Bay took a step forward with the addition of Jared Cook and the solid draft that they had.
It is very difficult to predict what the Cardinals will do this coming season. The sky is the limit for them.
What five bold predictions can be made for the Arizona Cardinals heading into the 2016 NFL season?
1. Larry Fitzgerald Breaks Out with Another Massive Season
Before last season, it appeared that veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was on his way down due to age. Fitzgerald ended up catching 109 passes for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns last year, which proved that he has plenty left in the tank. He will prove that fact once again this season and will have yet another massive year from a statistical standpoint.
2. David Johnson Will Be a Top-5 Running Back in All-Purpose Yards
David Johnson was the Cardinals' third-round pick in last offseason's NFL Draft, and he had a big year. He showed off impressive playmaking skills, and he will be used a lot more this season. If the Cardinals use him the way that they did in the postseason last year, Johnson will be a top-five running back in terms of all-purpose yardage.
3. Carson Palmer Has Another MVP Caliber Season
Last season with the Cardinals, Carson Palmer completed 63.7 percent of his pass attempts for 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He was mentioned in MVP conversations all season long. Palmer will once again put up an MVP caliber season and will have a shot to win the award.
4. Arizona Wins at Least 12 Games and the NFC West
Even though the rest of the NFC West will be competitive, the Cardinals will still find a way to take the division. They have one of the best playmaking defenses that the league has seen recently, and their offense has gotten more dangerous as well. It will be tough to beat out the Seahawks especially, but the Cardinals will win at least 12 games and will take the division.
5. Arizona Cardinals Win Super Bowl 51
Obviously, the only bold prediction left to be made is that the Cardinals win Super Bowl 51. They have been growing each and every season, and that growth is not ready to stop just yet. Arians and the Cardinals will find a way to win a championship, and all of their hard work will finally pay off.
Do you think that the Arizona Cardinals will be a serious Super Bowl contender in the 2016 NFL season? What are your thoughts on these five bold predictions for the Cardinals? Let us know in the comment box below!
[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]