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NFL Bold Prediction: The Arizona Cardinals Winning 10 Games

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 04:  Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals talks with runningback Beanie Wells #26 during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on August 4, 2011 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
No NameAnalyst INovember 9, 2016

Every year, there are teams with high expectations that seem to sputter and fade away.

There are also teams that aren't expected to do anything that have fantastic seasons. I'm sure this year will be no different.

Enter the surprise (good) team of the year, the Arizona Cardinals.

Obviously, the most notable move for this team was the trade that sent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philadelphia for Kevin Kolb.

I am aware of what Kolb's record as a starter in the NFL is, but I don't think that has any relevance on this upcoming season, where he enters knowing he is the starter and that he has a lethal weapon in Larry Fitzgerald.

The reason why Arizona pulled the trigger on that trade, was because they knew what they were getting when they drafted LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson in April.

Anyone that knows college football can tell you that Peterson was arguably the best player in college last season, at any position. He will more than fill the role that DRC had in the secondary and will pair up with Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes to solidify that defense.

This will be the make-or-break year for Chris "Beanie" Wells, as he enters his third year in the league out of Ohio State. He hasn't been healthy since coming into the league, and he will be pushed by second-round draft pick Ryan Williams out of Virginia Tech.

Williams and Wells will be a formidable one-two punch in the backfield.

The loss of Steve Breaston hurts now, but the receivers in training camp are coming along nicely, and they will get plenty of opportunities with Fitzgerald on the other side of the field.

They made a big upgrade at tight end as well, bringing over Todd Heap from Baltimore. Both Wells and Williams could figure into the passing attack as well as Stephens-Howling.

With an opponent's winning percentage of .441, the Cardinals have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this year. The simple fact that they play in the worst division in all of sports, the NFC West, should give them plenty of opportunity to get back to the playoffs.

Outside of their own division, they play teams from the AFC North and the NFC East. While those two divisions have some elite teams, they will get to play the bottom feeders as well.

That means games against the Browns, Bengals, Redskins, Cowboys and a very shaky Giants team that has injury problems, as well as contract issues with star player Osi Umenyora.

The two "extra" games that every team gets for the Cardinals this year are with the Vikings and the Panthers, two teams that most likely will not be headed to the postseason.

If Adrian Wilson's rehab goes according to plan, there is no reason to think this team can't get back there.

This team went to the Super Bowl just a few years ago. They have talent at every position. The question now is can they put it all together?

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