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The Arizona Cardinals were one of the best teams in the NFL last season until about November, when things began to fall apart. They made the playoffs but were embarrassed in the first round.
With the collapse to end the season, even though it could be largely attributed to injuries to key players, there are many who are not highly optimistic for their prospects in 2022.
They lost Chandler Jones and Christian Kirk and basically will field the same team that fell apart.
However, one model predicts the Cardinals will be as competitive as they were last season.
ESPN’s Football Power Index, which is a predictive model that includes ratings and projections, ranks the Cardinals ninth overall.
The Cardinals looked like a strong contender last season before falling apart down the stretch, but they still have a solid roster and Kyler Murray under center.
Ranking ninth overall has them fifth among NFC teams behind the Packers, Rams, Cowboys and Bucs. Those were last year’s division winners. The Cardinals were the No. 1 wild card team and project as the same thing again.
Cardinals fans remember the end of last season and forget that the same roster also won the franchise’s most games since 2015 and tied for the second-most regular-season wins in franchise history.
Add to this fact that the NFL scheduled the Cardinals for four prime-time games, all home games, and you have yourself a team that is expected to be competitive and relevant.
If the Cardinals stay healthier this coming season, they should look more like the team that started 7-0 and 10-2 than the one that finished 1-4 and was obliterated in the postseason.
Game-by-game predictions for Cardinals’ 2022 season