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2006 Football Betting Season Review: The Arizona Cardinals did nothing again in 2006 under head coach Dennis Green who was fired after a rotten 16-32 record in three years.
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The team was expected to do better in 2006 but only quarterback Matt Leinart looked like a future star. RB Edgerrin James did not perform up to expectations and the team actually lost to the lowly Raiders last season. Football betting players didn’t really figure out the Cardinals as they went 8-8 against the NFL betting spread. Football betting players that played totals liked the Cardinals though, as Arizona was an over machine going 11-5 to the over in 2006.
For as disappointing a record as the Cardinals finished with in 2006 it’s hard to be down on this team. Every year it’s the same rush of optimism and claims form pundits and experts that this year it’s going to be different in Arizona. This year the team is loaded with talent and on the cusp of being great. It’s always the same old talk, and last year was no different. And this year the same buzz is going on in the football after the disappointing 2006 campaign. But the only difference is that this time it is true. The Cardinals, even though they had a rotten record last year showed a lot of talent and a lot of promise.
The demise of this team last year was the offensive line. They simply didn’t have any skilled players on the line and had skilled people at almost every other spot, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Kurt Warner the former league MVP was brought in to revive a position that had seen little success since this team relocated to Arizona decades ago. However, after breaking his thumb in St Louis some years ago he simply hasn’t been the same player. And last season he started the season, but an injury and poor play were actually a blessing for the Cardinals, who more or less won the lottery on draft day when Matt Leinart slid all the way down to tenth pick and they grabbed him up.
Leinart didn’t start the season as the number one QB, in fact he was involved in an ugly contract hold out that severely retarded his progress, but once he got into his groove late in the season, he was great. The franchise has a ton of confidence in this guy and has every reason to believe he’ll be the answer to their QB problems. Among a talented rookie QB class, Vince Young stood out a brighter than Leinart and won the offensive rookie of the year, even though in fewer starts Lienart put up better numbers than Young, aside from team wins. Leinarts stats weren’t great, but they got much better as the year wore on and he became more comfortable. He completed 56 percent of this throws for 2500 yards, 11 TDs, 12 picks and a 74 QB rating.
The biggest off season move for the Cards was bringing in all pro running back Edgerin James for a big free agent money. The season got off to a slow start for James, but he fought back and got his 1159 yards on a slight 3.4 yards a carry and six TDs. But that was more than anyone could have hoped for behind the beat up ad porous offensive line of the Rams. The receiving corps did quite well, for what they had to work with and remains perhaps the most talented group of pass catchers in the league. Anquan Boldin had a break year catching 83 passes for 1203 yards for a 14.5 yards per catch average. Larry Fitzgerald was his usual self catching 69 balls for 946 yards and 6 TDs. And Bryant Johnson stepped up big, catching only 40 balls but really stretching the field with his 18.5 yards per catch average.
Aside from the offensive line which couldn’t stay healthy and even when it was, wasn’t very effective, the biggest weakness of this team was the defense, specifically the pass defense. This team ranked 30th in pass defense last season and 29th overall in terms of total yards allowed per game. It also gave up the third most amounts of points per game. The one bright spot, or less awful component of the defense was against the run, where the team ranked only 16th, allowing 118 rushing yards per game.
None of the defense’s players really stood out and that’s probably not such a very good thing and goes along way in explaining the team’s troubles. Karlos Dansby surprised a few people last year with 8 sacks and formed a good pressure duo with Chike Okafur who notched 8.5 sacks. Adrian Wilson added five sacks to go with his four picks but everyone else was pretty much anonymous.
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