As the NFL season reaches the end of week 7, a number of teams are creating waves for a variety of reasons. Notably the improvement of the Dallas Cowboys has meant that they are getting even more coverage than in their previous disappointing campaigns, which still demanded greater attention than the majority of the league. The dramatic drop in results from the Seattle Seahawks, the defending Super Bowl champions, has also caused much outcry for a team that seemed indestructible on and off the pitch after a week 1 mauling of the Green Bay Packers.
However, one team has managed to avoid the hype that is usually accustomed with division leaders, as the Arizona Cardinals go into week 8 with a 5-1 record while leading the pre-season pick of the toughest division in the NFL, the NFC West.
Cardinals going unnoticed
The reduced amount of credit given to the Cardinals may be put down to the narrow victory margins that Arizona have churned out each week. Arizona have a points differential of just +21, the same as the 3-3 Kansas City Chiefs, they also have a lower points scored per game average than the 2-5 London bound Atlanta Falcons.
However the only statistic that matters is the number in the Win column, which is what coach Bruce Arians has focused on to get the best out of his injury stricken roster. On the defensive side the Cardinals have a number of players missing from last seasons strong point. However this hasn't stopped Arians creating once again one of the strongest defences in the NFL.
Defense holding up despite injuries
Allowing the fifth fewest points per game in the league on a defence that is missing Darnell Dockett and John Abraham for the season and more recently Calais Campbell for a few games. Failing to mention Daryl Washington’s year long suspension for substance abuse.
The offence has adapted to adversity as well, with first choice Quarter Back Carlson Palmer missing a number of games due to nerve injury forcing back up Drew Stanton to step up and secure wins at the New York Giants and at home to division rivals San Francisco. The addition of third round draft pick John Brown to strong receiving team of Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald will only excite Cards fans for seasons beyond this one.
Time to prove their worth
As the media concentrate on the sideshows that are happening within the division north of the desert in San Francisco and Seattle. Arizona can now concentrate on two games against the NFC’s two strongest teams, with a match up at home to Philadelphia followed by a trip to Dallas to face the Cowboys.
The saying goes ‘attacks wins games, defences wins championships’ and this seems to be the Cardinal way at the moment, as Bruce Arians tries to lead Arizona to a home Super Bowl in February.