R.I.P. 2007 Arizona Cardinals

The sun has set on the 2007 Arizona Cardinals season (poetic eh?), but for a change there is hope for the future. In his first year as head coach, Ken Whisenhunt got the team to 8-8, only the third non-losing season for the team since moving to the desert. Of course, if Neil Rackers hadn't gone bonkers in the middle of the year and hit those chip shots against Washington and San Francisco, the Cardinals would be 10-6 and in the playoffs.

Positives in 2007

The biggest key to the year for Arizona was the destruction of Matt Leinart's collar bone. This finally forced Whisenhunt to go with the Sultan of Stubble, who had a spectacular year setting a new Arizona Cardinals mark for TD passes and coming within one of the franchise record, all while playing with one good arm. This was, of course, in large part due to the continued development of Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald who have proven they can run with any receiving duo in the league.

Causes for Concern in 2007

The defense was once again a disaster. They gave up 399 points (25 ppg), including 37 to the hapless 49ers. Also on defense, Rod Hood showed us he was a douchebag by giving up on plays when he gets beat.

On offense, the disappointment was Edgerrin James and Whisenhunt's insistence on handing off to him while Warner was eating the opposing secondary for breakfast. James up the middle for two yards over and over again is not much better than a punt.

Keys for 2008

In order to build on 2007, there are a couple things Arizona must do in 2008:

1. Keep Warner as the starter - Leinart is either not ready or not talented. I don't know which and I don't care. Warner has proven he still has more than enough gas in the tank to run this offense. Unfortunately, it looks like they may have already fucked this one up saying Leinart "won't lose his job to injury" (more on this debacle in a seperate post).

2. Replace James - Edge has been a bust for the Cards, averaging only about 75 yards per game since and scoring 13 TDs in two years. Unlike the Leinart/Warner situation, they may be doing the right thing here.

3. Bring in some new blood on D - While there is some talent on the defense, like Antrell Rolle and Chike Okeafor, there isn't enough. A good draft pick or FA acquisition would help out a lot.

4. Keep Rackers, but sign a backup - It looks like he may have got it together at the end of the season, but Arizona needs to prepare for the possibility of him going all Mike Vanderjagt on them.

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