Arizona Cardinals: 10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half of the Season

Elyssa GutbrodContributor IOctober 31, 2011

Arizona Cardinals: 10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half of the Season

0 of 10

    There is no easy way to say this: Through the first eight weeks of the season, the Arizona Cardinals have been a giant disappointment.

    There are still nine games left to play, though, which means there is plenty of time for the team to turn itself around and at least make something positive of the season.

    In the spirit of keeping the excitement of football alive despite six losses in a row, here are 10 bold predictions for what might happen in the remainder of the season.

Kevin Kolb Will Be Benched

1 of 10

    Let’s be honest for a moment: John Skelton has the potential to be a better quarterback than Kevin Kolb.

    Skelton was a rookie in 2010 when he started four of the last five games of the season. Although his quarterback rating was only in the 60s over those four games, he won two and snapped a seven-game losing streak in the process.

    Kolb has demonstrated repeatedly that he is not the quarterback he was brought in to be. At some point, Ken Whisenhunt must respond by sitting his starter and letting Skelton have a shot.

Levi Brown Will Be Released

2 of 10

    This one might be wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t see it as completely impossible. Levi Brown has been nothing but a burden on the Cardinals for his entire career.

    He has utterly failed to protect any quarterback he has been tasked with guarding and is a disaster when it comes to opening holes for the run game.

    In fact, Beanie Wells averages half a yard less per carry when he runs to the left side than he does when the play runs in any other direction.

Ray Horton Will Be Fired

3 of 10

    The Arizona Cardinals have had trouble keeping defensive coordinators on staff. With each new hire comes a new defensive scheme that the players must absorb and implement.

    The trend will likely continue.

    Ray Horton’s defense is clearly not working. Right now the Cardinals defense is 27th in the league in passing yards allowed and 29th in points allowed.

    Such poor performance will not be met with kind thoughts, and the most likely target for the anger will be Horton.

Todd Heap Will Suffer a Season-Ending Injury

4 of 10

    After a long, productive career, Todd Heap has ended his time with the Baltimore Ravens and traveled to Arizona.

    His time in the desert has been less than stellar so far. He’s only played in four games so far this season, and he’s only had 13 receptions for 150 yards. Arizona is struggling forward without him.

    He’s always been a little bit of an injury risk, and this season has been no different. He’s out now, but when he takes the field again it’ll be before he’s 100 percent. He’ll be open to injury, and opposing teams will be only too happy to oblige him.

The Cardinals Will Have a Winning Record in the Second Half of the Season

5 of 10

    Arizona has two games against the struggling St. Louis Rams and another matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. It’ll also face the inconsistent Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns.

    The Cardinals have managed to play games close for most of the year. If they can break their losing streak and catch some momentum, close games will start to swing in their favor.

LaRod Stephens-Howling and Patrick Peterson Will Dominate on Special Teams

6 of 10

    Move over, Devin Hester. Stand aside, Ted Ginn Jr. The tandem of LaRod Stephens-Howling on kickoff returns and Patrick Peterson on punt returns will vault Arizona to the top of the league in terms of special teams.

Larry Fitzgerald Will Have a 1,500-Yard Season

7 of 10

    Despite Kevin Kolb’s struggles, Larry Fitzgerald has remained a potent weapon on the field.

    Seven games into the season, he’s already at 602 yards. If Kolb (or his replacement) shows even the slightest bit of improvement, 1,500 yards is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility.

The Cardinals Will Try to Bring in Tashard Choice

8 of 10

    Running back Tashard Choice has been waived from the Dallas Cowboys. He’s injured right now, but when he gets better it’s not crazy to believe that the Cardinals may approach him.

    They lost rookie running back Ryan Williams in the preseason, and replacing him with Chester Taylor has not been an effective solution.

    Choice could provide a much-needed spark to the offense, as well as a strong backup option to Beanie Wells’ great rushing.

The Cardinals Will Have Three Pro Bowl Players

9 of 10

    When it comes time to choose players for the Pro Bowl, the Cardinals will not be completely left in the dust. It is probable that Larry Fitzgerald (WR), Darnell Dockett (DE) and LaRod Stephens-Howling (KR) will all make it to the Pro Bowl.

Ken Whisenhunt Will Have to Answer for the 2011 Season

10 of 10

    I’m not quite to the point where I’d predict that Ken Whisenhunt will be fired at the end of the 2011 season, but for each terrible performance the Cardinals put up I’m a little bit more certain.

    Statistically speaking, the Cardinals are even worse this year than they were last year.

    They paid dearly to be put into this position too, giving up a second-round draft pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kevin Kolb.

    It is due to Whisenhunt’s poor coaching decisions that the team has fallen to 1-6.

    That’s not to say the Cardinals are without talent. Both offensively and defensively, there are players who can really make things happen given the right circumstances. It just seems like Coach Whisenhunt can’t make the right circumstances happen.