NBA, Los Angeles Clippers Might Face Mutiny If Sterling Owns Team in 2014-15

This story just will not go away. Neither will embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling, who famously had a telephone conversation recorded with his mistress, V. Stiviano, regarding his views of her bringing black people to NBA games & not wanting her to be around them, is suing the NBA, his wife Shelly Sterling, NBA commissioner Adam Silver & the Clippers organization for basically trying to take the team away from him, as he claims that the league violated corporate law when they approved a sale of the team for former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer & that he is the sole owner of the team.

Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is dealing with a tough fight against Donald Sterling in terms of being able to get him out of ownership.

While all of the procedings are taking place in court, on the NBA court, the league could have a far bigger issue to deal with very soon. Reports came out that during the testimony in the trial with Sterling against his wife & the NBA, the appointed CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, Dick Parsons, testified in court that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers would leave the team if Sterling were still the owner by the start of the 2014-15 NBA season.

Clearly, no one can blame Rivers for his views on the situation, as many players, executives & other employees from around the league have been incredibly offended & embarrassed by the actions & words of Sterling, not only with this situation, but words & actions in the past when Sterling was making his fortune in real estate.

If Sterling is able to keep the team somehow as the new season comes in, there is a good chance, I believe, that players, executives & other coaches around the league, especially with the Clippers, will not play in the league, thus causing a complete boycott. This is going to be the biggest situation that Adam Silver will probably have to face as the leader of the league. He has to do everything in his power to get this man out of the game, especially in a league that is predominantly African-American.

The issue that could come is that Sterling has promised to leak out information on other owners around the league & possibly throw some of the them under the bus, which if their actions are anything close to Sterling’s, then the league – as well as all major sports leagues – will need to truly sit back & reevaluate the conduct of its owners just as hard, if not harder than the actual players.

The NBA players are in an interesting position. The game is very much about star power, as opposed to the other sports where it is more of a team mentality. If LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony & others decide that they won’t play games if a certain owner is running a team, the league would have no choice but to expedite all of their processes & power to get this matter resolved. The team has always been punished in a way, as very few free agents even entertained the idea of playing for the Clippers, a tone that was far different than earlier in the season when the Clippers were the destination team to play for as many people see the team on a rise to being a consistent NBA Championship contender in the next few years.

The power of the players & employees is already showing in Rivers, who has a first-year coach with the Clippers, took the team to the second round of the NBA playoffs & worked to help make the Clippers the #1 team in the city of Los Angeles, a title that had been held by the Lakers for many years. Rivers has a tremendous amount of respect in the league. A move by Rivers to leave the Clippers organization would send huge shockwaves throughout the league & could threaten to cripple the league if the situation wasn’t resolved quickly.

When Silver made his speech that Sterling would be banned from the league & fined for his actions, it received huge praise from players & fans alike. It showed that Silver was fair & firm & wasn’t going to be intimidated by the gravity of the moment & it helped to earn the respect & trust of the players. That trust will be tested in a major way the rest of the summer & for as long as this lawsuit continues.

A big question would be what happens for Clippers players? The league has megastars on the squad already in Blake Griffin, Chris Paul & a budding star in Deandre Jordan. Sponsors showed early on in the scandal that they had no problem with pulling down their advertising dollars away from the organization.

I’m guessing that the players understand that this really isn’t all on Silver, its on Sterling because of the fact that he just doesn’t want to step down as owner of the team on sheer principle alone. He has been filing lawsuits for years, ever since he became the owner of the Clippers when the team used to be in San Diego because he moved the team in the early 80s. Silver & the NBA can only move as fast as the legal process would go, but where the NBA can take some solace is that the players could only be out for so long before the game paychecks would start to truly hurt & the division of the players’ loyalties would start to take place, similar to what happens when the leagues end up in work stoppages.

No matter what happens here, Sterling has to go, no questions asked. Hopefully, he will understand that by hanging on with these lawsuits, he is hurting the very league that he claims to care so much about & the future of the team that he supposedly loves so dearly.


2014 NFL Rookie Jerseys On Sale at the Sports Fan Playground

NFL training camps are opening all around the league, & the Sports Fan Playground has jerseys from the 2014 NFL Draft class available for sale in the blog’s official store.  The jerseys that are available are from the all of the top players in the first round as well as other top names that expect to make an impact in the league in the coming season. Here are some of the top jerseys available for sale at the NFL store at the Sports Fan Playground -

Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel jersey

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns jerseys available in various sizes at the Sports Fan Playground store.

Michael Sam – St. Louis Rams

Michael Sam

Michael Sam St. Louis Rams jersey available at low prices at the Sports Fan Playground store.

Jadeveon Clowney – Houston Texans

Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney was the #1 pick in the NFL Draft this past year, & the new Houston Texans player has his jersey available at low prices at the Sports Fan Playground store.

Along with those jerseys, the Sports Fan Playground has the jerseys available of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Eric Ebron & many others, at low prices.


WWE Network Needs Presence on Cable, Satellite

For wrestling fans, old school & new school, the WWE hit a strong home run with their WWE Network, launched February 24, even with some of the bugs that were in the program ( & still are depending on the medium that you are watching the network on). Even though the network hasn’t launched around the world yet, the fact is that the network would help from having some kind of presence on cable & satellite providers.

WWE Network

The WWE Network is one of the better bargains in entertainment, having thousands of hours of classic wrestling content for $9.99 per month.

Yes, the WWE Network is amazing as an app, & it should stay available in app form, but many people around the country don’t have the access or capability to watch the network, especially if you live in a rural area. For example. I happened to be in Nevada in April for business & being in the mountain areas there, there was no way I could pull in the WWE Network because of the big signal there & that high-speed internet wasn’t completely available in that area.

With so many people in the United States who still live in very suburban & rural areas, the WWE is missing out on a large chunk of the population who would probably purchase the Network & with all of their pay-per-view events in the United States on the Network, the company is losing a strong chunk of customers.

According to Worldbank.org, over 54 million people live in rural areas of the United States. If you figure that about 3-4 million of those people might be wrestling fans & another 1-2 million would be willing to actually purchase the WWE Network, that would have taken care of the WWE’s goal of hitting 1 million subscribers in year one & wouldn’t have to go through the massive cost-cutting measures that the company is going through right now, as WWE CEO & Chairman Vince McMahon announced that the company was trying to trim $20 million off of their regular budget.

At the $9.99 a month price for the channel, fans would easily pay for it & the company would become much stronger overall & reach those people in the rural areas that the network isn’t currently reaching.

If the channel were to launch on cable or satellite, it would work as an alternative for the people who don’t have the other systems, or the company could make the WWE Network app strictly their on-demand channel & let the live stream be exclusively on the cable & satellite channel & make the content that shows on the channel immediately available on the app when the shows are completed.

By having the WWE Network live stream running as a regular network on Xfinity, DirecTV & others, yes WWE might have to share some of the revenue streams, but due to so many customers not being able to cut the cord yet with their satellite & cable services, the company will still bring in a strong revenue & be able to turn a profit far faster than just being on an app that many people who are past the age of 55 may not understand.

Right now, the WWE Network is one of the best entertainment apps in the United States, hands down. The collection of shows & events that are available is unprecedented & looks to only get better with shows coming such as the Monday Night War, which looks as though it will be a slam dunk for the company, similar to how WWE Legends House was earlier this year.

It just seems to be, as a die hard wrestling fan, that the WWE Network is poised to succeed, & once more people have access to the service, it will take off the way the fans & the company believe that it will & it should have from the very beginning.


Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA Apparel Up to 80% off at Sports Fan Playground

With the college football season – especially the SEC season – starting in just over 4 weeks, the Sports Fan Playground has deals on various NCAA apparel & accessories, including the entire Alabama Crimson Tide store, which is marked down up to 80% off through the start of the upcoming season.

Items that are currently marked down includes t-shirts, shorts, replica jerseys of great Alabama players such as A.J. McCarron, Mark Ingram, Joe Namath, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Mosley & others.

Along with the jerseys, the store has deals on tailgating items including canopies, grill covers, items for the bedroom, bathroom & kitchen; items for food & many Alabama products for dogs, including dog jerseys.

The Crimson Tide will be looking to avenge their loss to the Auburn Tigers & the Oklahoma Sooners at the end of last season with a strong recruiting class, which is tops in all of college football, under coach Nick Saban, who has led the Tide to 3 national championships in his time in Tuscaloosa.

Here are some of the items that are currently marked down right now at the Sports Fan Playground store -

Alabama Crimson Tide Cornhole Game

Alabama Crimson Tide game

Alabama Crimson Tide cornhole toss game on sale for $80.34 at the Sports Fan Playground store.

Alabama Crimson Tide Metal License Plate Tag


This Alabama Crimson Tide License Plate Tag is available for $4.89 at the Sports Fan Playground store.

Alabama Crimson Tide A.J. McCarron Autographed Replica Jersey

A.J. McCarron

Autographed A.J. McCarron Alabama Crimson Tide Nike Jersey – available for $249.99 at the Sports Fan Playground.

Alabama Crimson Tide 2014 Schedule T-Shirt

Alabama Crimson Tide T-Shirt

Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt with the 2014 schedule on the shirt is available for $19.95 at the Sports Fan Playground.


NBA Free Agent Winners & Losers – Part 2

The last time we got together (3 days ago), we talked about basically the Cleveland Cavs & Miami Heat making moves to keep their teams relevant after LeBron made his decision to go back to the Cavs. Here are some other teams in the league who have been winners & losers over the last few days.

NBA Free Agency Winners

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers got rid of Lance Stephenson after he wanted some absolutely absurd contract demands to stay in Indiana & ended up getting a strong deal with the revamped Charlotte Hornets.

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson, formerly of the Indiana Pacers, is betting big on himself by signing with the Charlotte Hornets for far less money than the Pacers were offering, hoping to get in position to get a bigger deal in the future.

While Stephenson was a great defender & a guy who could get under many players skin (see the Eastern Conference Finals from this year with the ear blowing), his act was wearing thin big time. It was time for the organization to move on & it was clear that Pacers President Larry Bird wasn’t going to put up with Stephenson’s shenanigans much longer.

Shortly after it was announced that Stephenson was moving on, the team signed free agent guard Rodney Stuckey, formerly of the Detroit Pistons, to a one-year deal. This is a great deal for the Pacers because Stuckey has much of the same game that Stephenson does & it gives the Pacers another scorer who can easily put up 17-19 points per game, when motivated.

With it looking like George Hill will be the point guard for the foreseeable future, this signing will allow Stuckey to play the shooting guard position (the position he is naturally made for) & give Paul George some extra help with the scoring load, which was the main area that hurt the Pacers throughout the playoff run last year, especially when they got to the conference finals against the Heat.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have become an organization that has become a destination spot for players. The team signed former Celtics & Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce to get some veteran leadership in the team to go along with John Wall & Bradley Beal. The team re-signed Martin Gortat, their big center who can get rebounds & has proven to be a strong scorer as the season went on.

Even though the team lost Trevor Ariza, they hired quite possibly the most important person in the organization going forward in the next few years………..David Akins. Who is David Akins you ask? He is the high school coach of Oklahoma City Thunder superstar forward Kevin Durant, who is set to become a free agent in 2016. The Wizards are showing that they want to be a true player in trying to bring Durant to the nation’s capital, assuming that the Thunder won’t put together a deal this year or next that will keep Durant in OKC for the duration of his career.

With the issues of the last two seasons with Russell Westbrook on the court, where Westbrook was taking some insanely crazy shots & not always keeping Durant in the flow of the offense, Durant may see that being in the nation’s capital could mean that his superstar status can grow higher & with Wall & Beal, a new “big 3″ could develop soon.

NBA Free Agency Losers

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers had the big opportunity to capitalize on the Los Angeles Clippers misfortune by really putting themselves on the marquee, & didn’t make a single big move. Sorry if I don’t count Jeremy Lin & Carlos Boozer has big time acquisitions, they didn’t get Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James & in a year where Kobe Bryant could be playing his last season in the NBA, the organization could go all out to make the Lakers a contender immediately.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets traded Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers in thoughts of signing Chris Bosh to a max contract if LeBron didn’t sign with the Heat. Bosh went back to the Heat instead & Houston lost out on re-signing Chandler Parsons as well. The team did get Trevor Ariza from the Wizards, who could be a great wing man & help out Harden & Howard not have all of the attention on them, but the team had far bigger aspirations for this offseason & promises to Dwight Howard in making the team a championship contender & in many ways, the completely failed.

The Rockets will need to make sure that the team is in position to make a move midseason to bring in a key player for a playoff run or there will be talk that the Rockets big spending spree will have been all for nothing.


NBA Free Agent Winners & Losers – Part 1

The NBA Free Agency period has been going on since July 1, when players & teams could begin actually talking. However, many people believe that it was when LeBron James made his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers that free agency really began in earnest.

When players & teams knew where James was going to go, teams could really begin to allocate where their money was going to go & how much money they were going to truly use in the salary cap structure for 2014-15.

Of course, not every team is involved in the free agency boom as much as others. There are many big winners, but also a few losers in the entire process.  Today, we will break down the winners & losers so far in the free agency period.

NBA Free Agency Winners

Cleveland Cavaliers

This is a no-brainer, here. The Cavs were going to do anything & everything in their power to make sure that the team had enough space to sign LeBron James, the man who has made the team the leading favorite according to Vegas, to win the NBA Championship.

The organization has grown in many ways since LeBron left for Miami in 2010. The team has drafted well in bringing in Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson & Anthony Wiggins, the incoming rookie who was the #1 overall pick by Cleveland from the Kansas Jayhawks program.

Having LeBron come in will be an instant boost to the franchise, its fans & the city as a whole, & James will have an instant impact on the work ethic of the players & will do everything in his power to bring a championship to the area where he grew up. Dan Gilbert & the organization should be prouder more than any organization can even imagine to be.

Miami Heat

Many of you may say that the Heat are absolute losers because they lost LeBron James, but the team ended up winning in the long run. The team resigned Chris Bosh, a versatile player who will most likely get more of a chance to shine now that he won’t be the 3rd man in the puzzle behind James & Dwyane Wade. Yes, Bosh did receive $118 million, but in Miami, if the team is going to be competitive & not end up the way the Cavs did in 2010, they have to keep on as business as usual.

Chris Bosh

Veteran forward Chris Bosh surprised many people by signing a $118 million dollar contract with the Miami Heat late last week.

The team will be looking to keep Wade around, at a much lower cost, but because Wade is the face of the franchise & is probably the man who is most connected to the city of Miami & the Heat organization due to bringing a championship to South Beach long before the big 3 game together, he will most likely retire as a member of the Heat.

Before the James decision, the team signed some nice pieces in Josh McRoberts (formerly of the Charlotte Hornets) & Danny Granger, who was a star player less than 2 seasons ago with the Indiana Pacers. Granger will give the Heat some versatility on the floor, can get to the basket & shoot the 3-point shot very consistently.

McRoberts is a guy who can bang down low in the post & has truly developed his game into a good double-double type of player. His style of play won’t be as flashy as what Heat fans have become used to over the last few years, but the one thing fans will be able to count on will be consistent, hard working play every single night.

Plus, having McRoberts & resigning Udonis Haslem & Chris “Birdman” Andersen gives the Heat some size & toughness, two areas that I have thought the team has missed over the last few seasons during the “Big 3″ era.

Detroit Pistons

Ok, so this is a surprise team on the list for many people, but the Pistons have all of a sudden had a very productive offseason. The team signed Caron Butler & D.J. Augustin, two veterans that can help out Brandon Jennings & Josh Smith.

Butler is especially a big key in the deal because of the fact that the team has been openly trying to shop Smith around to teams, but many teams just aren’t buying what Smith is selling at this point in his career. It has seemed as though Smith has underachieved greatly, & the Pistons & new Head Coach/General Manager Stan Van Gundy understand the need for great veterans in the lineup & he is stocking up with those type of players that teams need to win championships & to develop a culture.

Chris Bosh

As noted earlier, Bosh re-signed with the Miami Heat for $118 million & he received that money simply for being loyal.

Bosh had an offer on the table from the Houston Rockers for 4 years & $96 million dollars, the max that a player can get for signing with another team. It was thought that Bosh would take the deal if LeBron didn’t resign with the Miami Heat. As we know, James went to Cleveland, but the Miami Heat showed their faith in Bosh by making sure that he was one of their cornerstones for years to come.

With Bosh being 30 years old, he got his last mega money deal in the NBA, he has two NBA Championship rings, his family is set & rooted into Florida now, no state tax on his income, so Chris Bosh is absolutely a big winner so far.

Pau Gasol

Gasol was able to get out of the sinking ship that is the Los Angeles Lakers franchise right now by signing with the Chicago Bulls last week.

Gasol, who is one of the most versatile power forwards in the league, goes to another major market, which he loves being in areas with the great culture & a variety of entertainment options all around the area, & will have the chance to play off of point guard Derrick Rose, if Rose can stay fully healthy for the upcoming season.

I truly believe that Gasol was truly getting tired of Kobe Bryant & his style of motivating players, particularly being hard on Gasol for the last few seasons as the team was starting to get out of whack. The Los Angeles Lakers barely have a roster, no head coach right now & no one knows if Kobe Bryant will be back to his normal self early on in the season.


NFL Team Preview – Washington Redskins – NFC East

The Washington Redskins have been in the news this NFL offseason for many reasons outside of football – well, actually, one main one. Their name. I won’t go too deep into that, but the politicans as well as various organizations have been putting pressure on Washington owner Dan Snyder to change the name. So far not much has happened on that front.

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III will be a big piece of the offensive output for Washington football team this season, if fully healthy from his injury.

From the actual football side, the team will be hoping that Robert Griffin III, the franchise quarterback going into this third season from Baylor, will be fully recovered from his ACL surgery & be ready to play like the RGIII that was the NFL offensive rookie of the year in 2012 & led Washington to the NFC East Championship. Last season, Griffin struggled with having any kind of real mobility anywhere on the field & it affected his level of play throughout the entire season once teams realized that he had to be a traditional quarterback.

The Redskins went 3-13 & Griffin was benched towards the end of the season & Kirk Cousins from Michigan State was the starter & performed very well, which is why I am surprised the team didn’t trade Cousins this offseason. Or maybe new head coach Jay Gruden knew that he needed to stick around in case Griffin isn’t back to his regular form.

Griffin will have help in the form of a great running game led by Alfred Morris, who had a great rookie season in 2012 & followed it up with 1275 yards last season, among the best in the NFL. Griffin III & Morris in the backfield with the threat of the run from Griffin will be a great combination to make defenses have to bite one way or another if the formations are predominantly from the spread position.

Also on the offense, the team got a big time wide receiver to go deep in DeSean Jackson, who is coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson has the ability to take the top of the defense & make huge plays every single game. Jackson, along with Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon & Leonard Hankerson bring together a strong group of receivers that will allow RGIII to not have to make every play on the field, which will make Washington that much more dangerous.

On the defensive side of the ball, Washington upgraded their secondary by signing Ryan Clark from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Clark is a great ball-hawking safety with veteran leadership & championship experience. His presence will be great for players such as DeAngelo Hall, who is a veteran cornerback, but hasn’t won much in the league.

Strong safety Brandon Meriweather is a great player, but he has a bad reputation for being a head-hunter & unfortunately, he has paid for his actions with concussions in the past, as well as fines & small suspensions from the NFL. Meriweather has to be able to put fear in receivers, but also keep control of his actions when on the field since he is going to be the target of officials.

In the linebacking core, Washington looks strong with having Brian Orakpo & Ryan Kerrigan manning the outside positions. The team should be much stronger on the defensive side, possibly being higher than 15th overall in the league.

Washington, however, will be a team that may go through some issues getting their team straight after all of the discomfort from last year & the Mike Shanahan regime & getting Jackson used to working with Robert Griffin III. The Redskins look like a 9-7 team & another team that will be in the playoff hunt this year, but in the NFC East, there are no surprises & if the team is as together as they seem to be & if they can get used to Gruden’s philosophy, Washington can mess around & win the division.


NFL Team Preview – New York Giants – NFC East

The New York Giants are a team that is one of the true enigmas of the NFL. Last season, the team’s offense was absolutely terrible, Eli Manning couldn’t stop throwing interceptions to save his life, yet amazingly, he threw for 3800 yards. The leading rusher on the team, Andre Brown, didn’t have 500 yards.

Eli Manning

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a two-time SuperBowl Champion, but with his play over the last couple of seasons, you wouldn’t know it. Manning has to be stronger this year in order for the Giants offense to click to help their strong defensive unit.

This team had no business being 7-9. It was clearly a 5-11 or 4-12 team. The fact that they were able to scrape together a 7-9 record is a testament to the coaching of Tom Coughlin & the defense that kept the team in so many games all season (ranked 10th against the pass, 14th against the run).

However, the heart of that pass rush, defensive end Justin Tuck, is now with the Oakland Raiders. The leader of that defensive unit will have to be Jason Pierre-Paul, who has emerged as one of the better pass rushers in the NFL over the last few seasons, learning from Tuck & the retired Michael Strahan when JPP was very young in the league. The Giants also add in Robert Ayers, defensive end originally with the Denver Broncos, who can get some pass rush going.

Around the rest of the defense, the Giants are still extremely strong, especially in the secondary with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie & Antrel Rolle patrolling the area in the back. The Giants defense will be among the top 10 in the NFL again, however, any defense is only as good as an offense that will give them support & allow them to make plays late in games.

Speaking of that offense, its apparent that the Giants definitely needed an upgrade in the passing game to give Manning some support outside of just Victor Cruz. The team will depend on two LSU players this year, Reuben Randle & the rookie Odell Beckham Jr., who was a big time breakout star during the 2013 season. As per usual, the Giants will have a variety of running backs to help Manning some, but the New York Giants are never going to be an explosive offense, its not in their DNA.

The Giants are always a team that will score 21 to 25 points every game & will be in a fight more times than not with teams, especially in the NFC East with the Cowboys, Redskins & Eagles. I can’t see the team being more than 8-8 or 7-9 & this may be the season that Coughlin might be out of New York. The team will show fire & desire, but you can only do so much when you don’t have the playmakers across the field.

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NFL Team Preview – St. Louis Rams – NFC West

The St. Louis Rams are a team that is on the rise, but yet again, another team that is in the wrong division where they can’t get the respect they deserve.

Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams will be leaned upon to take the team to new levels. Unfortunately, the Rams don’t have the offensive playmakers that can compete with the other 3 teams in their own division – the NFC West.

The Rams are a team that has a great defense, not quite elite yet – could get there this year, but their offense has many questions. Quarterback Sam Bradford should be healthy & ready to go this season, but the question is who is going to step up & be a playmaker outside of Tavon Austin, who is in his second year from West Virginia?

The team doesn’t have a set starter at running back who is good enough to replace Stephen Jackson, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons last offseason. Young WR Chris Givens will be looked at to make some kind of impact this year, which if he can’t, the team has Kenny Britt on the roster, who signed over from the Tennessee Titans. In terms of protection, the team signed left tackle Jake Long from the Miami Dolphins, one of the best LTs in the entire league.

From the defensive side, the Rams have a great pass rush from Robert Quinn & Chris Long, great linebacker play from James Laurinatis, & a true lockdown cornerback from Janoris Jenkins. However, the mystery of the offense & not having enough playmakers that can handle the rest of the teams in their own division will be what keeps the Rams at the bottom of the NFC West.

This is a 6-10 team, but a team that will be a very tough & physical 6-10 team that will be better most weeks than teams that are outside of the NFC West.


NFL Team Preview – Arizona Cardinals – NFC West

The Arizona Cardinals had a very strong 2013 season, going 10-6, but narrowly missing the NFC playoffs. The team grew into one of the best teams in the entire NFC, unfortunately, they are in a division with the San Francisco 49ers & the Seattle Seahawks.

Patrick Peterson

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson is one of the most dynamic, all-world players in the entire NFL on defense & on special teams.

From top to bottom, the Cardinals are absolutely stacked on both offense & defense. On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Carson Palmer, even though he is older than Moses at this point, has been an elite passer in the league for the last couple of seasons, even though there aren’t any playoff victories to show for it. Palmer is a quarterback that can lead a young team into a game & you can count on him to not turn the ball over.

At the receiver position, the Cardinals have one of the best players of this generation in Larry Fitzgerald, who is playing at the highest level that he has ever played, including the Cardinals run to the SuperBowl in 2009. Fitzgerald has help around him now in the constantly developing Michael Floyd, a 6’5″ receiver who can be that big target who can go up & make plays & help to make sure the defense is playing honest without double teams on Fitzgerald.

Running back Andre Ellington is penciled in as the starter, but expect that position to be a 3-headed monster with Ellington, Jonathan Dwyer & Stephan Taylor all getting quite a few reps, especially with Bruce Arians coaching & believing in a balanced offensive attack.

The team has a dynamic offensive threat in Ted Ginn, who is one of the fastest men in the entire NFL, as a possible slot receiver & at times, a kick & punt returner.

As long as Palmer can stay healthy & be able to get the ball out with decent offensive line protection, the Cardinals have enough offensive weapons to stick with the 49ers & Seahawks.

From the defensive side, the Cardinals have arguably the best defensive unit in the entire NFL. On the defensive line, Darnell Dockett is a big time disruption force & has the ability to make the defense gameplan against them. The linebacking core is amazing with Shaughnessy, Larry Foote, John Abraham, & Kevin Minter.

Where the Cardinals might be better than any team in the NFL – including the Seahawks – is in the secondary, with Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Matthieu & newly acquired Antonio Cromartie. The Arizona Cardinals secondary is good enough to win games on their own & can lock down any offensive unit in the entire NFL, at any time.

With that strong defense, the Arizona Cardinals will be the third team out of the NFC West to make the playoffs next season. It should be with a 10-6 or 11-5 season, but it just shows how tough that division is, & for that matter, the NFC as a whole.