Sorry 49er Fans. The Cardinals Will Win The Division...Again.

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Sorry 49er Fans. The Cardinals Will Win The Division...Again.
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It's early August.  That means kids are going back to school, Brett Favre is waffling (Maybe we could stop sticking a mic in his face.  I'm pretty sure he'll let us know what he plans on doing.), and the Arizona Cardinals are not getting a lot of respect from the national media.  Let me reassure the fair-weather Cardinals fans who are flipping out because Kurt Warner has called it quits on his Hall of Fame career, the Arizona Cardinals will win the division again.  I'd also like to remind the 49er fans who the defending NFC West Champions are.  I understand y'all have gotten a lot of national love, but the Cardinals will win the division again, and here's why.

Ken Whisenhunt is the best coach in the division.  Mike Singletary was a great, great player, but as we live and breathe, he is not as good of a coach as Whisenhunt.  People forget when a certain Steeler quarterback was still acting like he had some sense as a rookie and won the Super Bowl, Coach Whisenhunt was his offensive coordinator.  He protected his quarterback with play calling that would keep him out of trouble, namely running the ball.  Upon coming to the desert, he was forced to change his philosophy because of personnel.  While it seems obvious to throw the ball more with Kurt Warner at qb, how many coaches have too big of an ego to change their ways?  Whisenhunt will make the necessary changes this year to keep the team winning despite Warner's retirement.

Speaking of Warner, obviously the quarterback is the most important position on the football field, but I almost feel like it is almost the least important on the Cardinals.  I mean that with all due respect to Leinart, but he or Anderson could hand off to Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower just the same.  The Cardinals will be much more committed to rushing the ball and much better at it this season.  As far as just the quarterback position goes though, Anderson has a bigger arm, but Leinart has earned the right to start, and he'll do well.  He won't put up hall of fame numbers, but Trent Dilfer has a Super Bowl ring, and Matt Leinart is better than him.  Plus Leinart has better weapons to work with.  Everyone on the planet knows about Larry Fitzgerald's greatness, but don't sleep on the rest of receiving corp.  Breaston and Doucet are both primed to have big years.

Speaking of Dilfer, most football fans would agree he leaned on his defense to win that ring, well the Cardinals defense is not as good as the Ravens defense was in 2000, but it's not as bad as people think.  People remember all the points the Packers and Saints put up against the Cardinals in the playoffs, but those two games don't paint a full picture of what the defense did last year.  The numbers show the Cardinals defense was about middle of the pack honestly, but this unit will be better.  The D-line, led by Darnell Dockett will wreak havoc, and if you can win the line of scrimmage, it makes everyone on look better (i.e. the New York Giants Super Bowl victory for 2007).  The great thing about this Cardinals team is they are strong on both sides of the ball in the trenches.  While the D-line is explosive, the O-line has a lot of depth which will especially pay off late in games and late in the season.

Lastly, let me be clear about two things.  I am not disrespecting the 49ers (or Seattle or St. Louis for that matter).  I have nothing but respect for what they've done in the past.  Secondly I am not implying the Cardinals should be favored to win the Super Bowl this year.  I'm not proclaiming they'll go 16-0.  They are better than last year's 10-6 team though from top to bottom.  Does any one, regardless of who you cheer for think an 11-5 team won't win the NFC West?  Even if they go 10-6 again, I am just letting everyone know that despite what most writers in the national media may lead you to believe, the Cardinals are going to win the NFC West.  Again.

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