NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones
Entering the 2012 season, the Arizona Cardinals were considered a team in the midst of a downward spiral. Their division rivals were being lauded for improvements at key spots: San Francisco had upgraded their offense by signing Mario Manningham and Randy Moss at wide receiver, Seattle had added not one but two potential starting quarterbacks in Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson, and the St. Louis Rams had begun a complete organizational overhaul under highly-regarded head coach Jeff Fisher, who brought in talent at wide receiver (Brian Quick), along the offensive line (center Scott Wells), and especially on defense (tackles Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford, cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, and Trumaine Johnson.)
However, the Cardinals are tied for first in the division after a 20-16 week one victory over the more highly-touted Seattle Seahawks in which Arizona made a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback behind second-string quarterback Kevin Kolb.
How much of a threat do they pose to a New England team coming off of a dominant 34-13 victory at the Tennessee Titans?