Arizona Cardinals: Offseason Preview

Joseph LopezCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2009

They almost did it.

The Arizona Cardinals almost pulled off a Super Bowl victory, but the boys from Pittsburgh spoiled their night. Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald's was disappointed as Arizona's defense allowed Pittsburgh to drive down the field for the winning score.

The Arizona Cardinals, who were considered the "worst playoff team ever," almost pulled off a Super Bowl win—but penalties ultimately killed the Cardinals.

Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald put up 14 points in the fourth quarter and the defense added two points with a safety. In the end, the Steelers stole the game away with a game winning touchdown. The Cardinals high-powered passing offense was silent for much of the first half, but they came out firing in the fourth quarter. However, the Cardinals could've scored and possibly won if it hadn't been for all the offensive penalties the team earned. Holding was the main reason behind their penalties, and if it hadn't been for Fitzgerald, the Cardinals could've been blown out.

So what now? Where do the Arizona Cardinals go from here?

Well, that's a good question.

For one, they need to hold onto all their offensive players that they currently have. That means Warner needs to stay and be resigned, if he doesn't retire. Also, wide reciever Anquan Boldin needs to stay with the team, who was a big target for Warner throughout the season.

The only thing I would do differently is try and find a talented running back. Sure, Edgerrin James was good late in the season, but the Cardinals need to be two-dimensional. They can pass—we know that. The problem is that they can't run. If the Cardinals want to succeed in the upcoming season, they might want to invest in a running back.

Defense wins championships. Surely, we all know that by now. The Arizona Cardinals defense was one of the worst in the league, giving up 426 points during the course of the regular season. The Cardinals need a better defense if they want to make it to Super Bowl XLIV. If they chose to remain inactive about their defense, it could be a long year.

The Cardinals succeeded in the playoffs because of their defense. Sure, Warner and company put up 30-plus points, but their defense was able to shut down Atlanta, Carolina and a red-hot Eagles team. Arizona's defense will be a critical factor in their success in the 2009-10 season.

The Arizona Cardinals should be very proud of their performance Sunday. They were underdogs, but performed very well for a team that was considered the weakest team in the playoffs. Heading into the offseason, the Cardinals need to address their defensive problems, and hope Warner comes back for one last shot at a title.