The Deadspin 2020 NFL Previews, NFC West: American Football’s Equivalent of the Group of Death

Chris Jones, Patrick Peterson, Kevin Peterson

Chris Jones, Patrick Peterson, Kevin Peterson
Photo: Getty

COVID Response: In mid-August, the Cardinals were one of five teams that didn’t have a player on the COVID-19/reserve list. The special list includes players who tested positive and players who were exposed to someone who tested positive. Marcus Gilbert was the only Cardinal player to opt-out of the season.

Outside the lines: Future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgeraldwrote an editorial for the New York Times calling for justice and for the killing of minorities to stop. Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ young playmaking quarterback, has spoken out against the injustices occurring in this nation as well and says he plans to kneel during the national anthem this season. Other Cardinals such as Patrick Peterson, Budda Baker, and DeAndre Hopkins have also spoken out.

Oh, he’s here now?: Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Hopkins was by far the biggest pick up for this team in the offseason. Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league and will be a prime target for Murray on scrambles and other improvised plays. The two should be an explosive tandem. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick of the Bengals and linebacker Devon Kennard came over from Detroit to help the D.

Where’d he go?: Arguably the most notable player to leave the Cardinals in the offseason was running back David Johnson. Johnson was sent to Houston in the trade that brought Hopkins into town. The standout running back has been trying to get back to his 2016 level of production.

Fans in the stands: No fans for the first two home games at least.

What to expect: The Cardinals will be a very exciting team this season. Murray will take a significant leap forward this season with Hopkins as a target. Baker and Peterson still have a lot to prove on the back end of the defense and will be motivated to make major noise this season. The expectations for this team to be good are significantly higher and Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury will have to validate his hiring this season because of the talent on his roster. They’ll give Seattle and San Francisco a few competitive games but they still don’t have enough to win the division.

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