Around the NFL  


Larry Fitzgerald: Cards a good match for NFC West foes


The Arizona Cardinals sit in arguably the toughest division in the NFL: the NFC West.

With the offseason underway, Around The League explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

(I write "arguably" to be politically correct. If you argued against that division being the best, you'd be wrong. Sorry.)

Finishing 2013 at 10-6, the Cardinals were barely squeezed out of the playoffs. Within their division resides the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers and a sneaky-good St. Louis Rams team.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, however, isn't fretting about facing the Seahawks and 49ers each twice next year.

"That's no problem. We match up very well with those teams, and we love playing against them," Fitzgerald told USA Today's Tom Pelissero.

The Cardinals finished 1-3 against the Seahawks and 49ers in 2013 and 2-4 overall in the division.

The Cardinals' play down the stretch of the season, including handing the Seahawks their only home loss in two seasons, proved they could hang with the tough defenses in the NFC West.

Fitzgerald said the 2014 Cardinals aren't going to hang their hats on last season's win in Seattle.

"That was last year," he said. "That has no significance on this year and what we're trying to accomplish. We just take it as another game. We expected to go up there and win and we were able to get it done, and that's pretty much all we ever talked about."

The improved play down the stretch was inspiring, and the Cardinals definitely were viewed as a team few wanted to face had they squeaked into the playoffs. However, for any chance to overtake the division, Arizona still must improve the offensive line, running game and pray to the old gods and the new that Carson Palmer magically becomes Kurt Warner.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" works through our top 101 free agents and responds to some heat from Donte Whitner.


Fan Discussion