by Michael Scully
This will be the first of my two bold predictions for the 2012 NFL season. I know that the season is two games in, third week up coming, but still these two predictions are what I made prior to the season.
So since week 9 last year:
Team A is 9-2 in the regular season.
Team B been outscored 261-256; and outgained 4438/2841/1597 to 3989/2731/1258 (Tot/Pass/Run); and had a -10 Turnover Ratio (25 against, 15 for.)
Who are these teams? Well they are both the Arizona Cardinals. Last year after starting 1-6; then proceeded to go 7-2 to finish 8-8 on the season. The victories included Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots and 49ers.
If you remove the 49ers blowout in week 11, the stats become out scoring their opponents 249-238, and only being outgained 4007/2574/1433 to 3760/2582/1178 and a -6 Turnover Ratio (20 against, 14 for.) Now these stats do not typically scream playoff team, but their ability to be on the right side of a tight game does.
As we saw last week in New England, they have this mystical ability to be outplayed and win. The Cardinals defense is not about turnovers but a physical swarming mass. Just like the Colts defense in 2006 when they won the super bowl. Now they won’t win the division (49ers are in it) but they do get to play in the weakest NFC division (NFC South may overtake this role) so they have a leg-up on their competitors when it comes to a wild card spot. Could they beat the Falcons or Giants in a 1st Round match up? I doubt it, but with these guys you can’t be to sure.