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2021 Playoff Analysis: Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
Elite Quarterback
7 points
Premiere Offensive Weapons
2 points per player
James Connor
A.J. Green
Kyler Murray (Mobile QB)
Zach Ertz
Christian Kirk
Elite Pass Rushers
4 points per player
Chandler Jones
Zach Allen
Quality Offensive Coaching
6 points
Kliff Kingsbury
Quality Defensive Coaching
6 points
Number of Successful Comebacks
7 total points if the team successfully staged at least 3 comebacks
Elimination Game Experience
2 points each for offense, defense, and special teams units, provided a majority of key role players on a given unit have experience in elimination game scenarios.
Special Teams
Quarterback Elimination Game Experience
6 points if a quarterback has experience in an elimination game
Score Range
18 - 26

The Cardinals are an interesting bunch, to say the least. Their offense is absolutely loaded with talent. Save for an elite quarterback, Arizona’s offense would probably be the most complete among all postseason contenders. It also helps coach Kliff has demonstrated considerable competence in his role as the team’s chief offensive guru.

The defense introduces our first real concern here. Even though the roster features some solid personnel, Vance Joseph can’t be considered a quality defensive coach given all his stumbles this season. His worst showing came recently against a Colts offense missing four starting offensive linemen. How do you lose convincingly against an Indianapolis outfit missing most of their offensive front? Carson “Ricky Fowler” Wentz arguably had his best game of the season against Vance Joseph’s unit. That being said, the fact that the defensive front is loaded with one verifiably elite pass rusher and two other players capable of premiere billing is good news.

The only other issue comes with experience. Kliff Kingsbury’s team is a solid team, but a young one. Too many key players among the offense and defense are missing experience in elimination game scenarios. It’s going to hurt them in the wild card round for sure.

Arizona could potentially win the NFC championship if
if their wild card opponent is a team clearly lacking a number of championship qualities. Their lack of postseason experience is expected to hurt them significantly in their playoff debut, so it would really help if their opponent has deficiencies on their end to keep the playing field level.

On top of that, the Cardinals need some of the names listed above as potentially impactful players to actually break out in the postseason. Either Zach Allen or Markus Golden need to step up to give this defense two dominant pass rushers if it looks to survive three straight trips on the road against the best teams. Furthermore, Arizona needs Christian Kirk, Zach Ertz, and possibly even Chase Edmonds to evolve into reliable vectors to keep this offense humming on the road, especially given the unit doesn’t have an elite quarterback at its helm.