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Heroes and Goats: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

Why watch the Cardinals for the rest of the year? This is a veteran team full of contract year players who keep the team competitive while failing to consistently win games. Most of Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Alex Okafor, Chandler Jones, Kevin Minter, and Marcus Cooper will be gone next year—meaning the team’s only competent unit is likely to be dismantled.

On offense, Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and David Johnson are known commodities. The development of D.J. Humphries has hit a cul-de-sac somewhere around “below average.” The current offensive line likely will be replaced in the offseason. The wide receiving corps is charitably described as “joyless.”

I’m going to continue to watch this team out of force of habit, to enjoy the last few years of Larry Fitzgerald’s career, to see whether Tyrann Mathieu shows flickers of life for another Savage Season in 2017 and to watch Patrick Peterson.

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Frostee Rucker, DT Rucker has played the role of steadying veteran defensive presence to a “T.” He also remains disruptive in the pass and run game. If the Cards let Calais Campbell walk as a free agent, they have to keep Rucker.

 

Jermaine Gresham, TE Is frequently deployed to help Humphries and showed today a fire for the game that some of his offensive teammates lack. Will he be willing to stay if the Cards can’t contend for a championship?

 

Patrick Peterson, CB He is, bar none, the best cover cornerback in the NFL. Those saying, “If Peterson gets hurt, it’s curtains for the unit” are right, but there’s no replacement for Peterson anywhere in the NFL.

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Justin Bethel, DB Predictably, Bethel has not developed into a competent 2nd cornerback in his fifth NFL season. Bethel is a good candidate to get a renegotiation of his $4.5M 2017 salary if he can’t improve his special teams performance.

 

Steve Keim, GM The gamble of keeping skill position players together and shuffling the line crapped out. Bad special teams talent as players like CB Brandon Williams and OLB Theo Riddick fail to develop into anything is a bigger problem.

 

Bruce Arians, HC Thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Arians and his family, but 2016 has turned into a flaming bag of poo. It feels like Arians came into this season distracted, and how this team has failed to play smart football is a huge problem.

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