Cardinals Ready to Put NFC West in Rear View

Shane YeoContributor IOctober 17, 2016

So are the doubts gone? Haters anyone? The Arizona Cardinals are for real.

Kurt Warner has resurrected the 1999 and 2001 MVP we once knew.

Anquan Boldin has caught more touchdown receptions in his first seven games this year than he ever has in a season.

Larry Fitzgerald is still considered to be Warner's No. 1 receiving option and can take you deep at any time.

The surprise surge of Steve Breaston collecting over 600 yards has earned him the label of No. 3 receiving option.

Edgerrin James has been more of a veteran leader with a vocal impact, rather than offensively.

That impact has been made primarily on rookie tailback Tim Hightower (my new favorite Cardinal). Hightower has broken into the endzone seven times, and is almost a guarantee on third and short and goal-line situations. As of the Cardinals' last two games, Hightower has been named the starting running back.

The Cardinals lead the league in points per game (29.2) and are third in offensive yardage (385.4), but the defense is 19th in points allowed (23.1 per game) and 14th in yards allowed (311.3 per game).

Their main focus should be improving their handle on the pass (18th in the NFL at 216.3 yards/game). The Arizona defense goes into Week 11 against the Seahawks ranked 10th (95.0 yards/game) against the run, with running back Julius Jones serving as Seattle's only threat.

The Cardinals will beat the Seahawks on Sunday no problem, while the whimpering 49ers and the doomed Rams battle each other out. The Cardinals have already won this division; the question is, can they can handle Week 18 and beyond?