The Cardinals season ended on a good note as they defeated the Seahawks on Sunday. With the win, Arizona finished with an 8-8 record and a 6-2 record at home. After an abysmal start to the season where they started 1-6 including a 6 game losing streak. They finished 7-2 with their only two losses coming from playoff teams in San Francisco and Cincinnati. There was a lot of encouraging performances from the team this year, but the biggest concern going into the offseason is at the Quarterback position. After handing a big contract to Kevin Kolb after trading a first round pick and starting CB Rodgers-Cromartie for him, he did not perform as well as expected. He had trouble staying on the field through injuries, and when he was playing he struggled much of the time. In eight games, he had just under 200o yards with 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He compiled a 2-6 record in those starts (not including SF where he threw just one pass before leaving with a head injury). I doubt Arizona will give up on Kolb after just one year, but he will certainly have a shorter leash next season. John Skelton is likely to return as the backup after a fairly solid season. He threw for just over 1900 yards with 11 TD’s and 14 INT’s. The turnovers are concerning, but he proved he was able to win. In the eight games he played in, he won 6.
Beanie Wells broke out in a big way, rushing for over 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not surprisingly, he had his fair share of injuries throughout the season. When he was able to play though he was very effective and proved he has the ability to be a feature back. Losing Ryan Williams so early hurt the depth at RB, so having him back should help tremendously. Larry Fitzgerald didn’t skip a beat despite the QB carousel. He had 1411 yards, which was his 4th season of over 1400 yards and just 20 yards short of his career high. Early Doucet had a bit of a breakout year, with nearly 700 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Losing Breaston turned out not too hurt Arizona too much, as Andre Roberts had a good season as well. Todd Heap couldn’t stay healthy and his first season in Arizona was disappointing.
Patrick Peterson was incredible his rookie season, but not necessarily as most expected. He played solid defense, but earned a pro bowl trip because of his return game. He had 4 returns for scores, including a game winner. He has a very bright future as a Cardinal.
The Cardinals found ways to win close games, with 4-0 record when the game went into overtime, including Sunday against Seattle. Playoffs were obviously the ultimate goal for this team, but fans can’t be too disappointed considering the start of the season. Kevin Kolb wasn’t what everyone hoped for, but there is still time for him to improve. He certainly has the weapons to succeed, so it is completely in his hands to work on his game. If the passing game does start to improve, this team has some serious potential. The defense really came along towards the end of the year, and the running game is very effective when Wells is in the lineup. If the 49ers take a step back from their 13-3 record of this year, the Cardinals can easily be contenders in the NFC West.