Originally written on Phoenix Sports-Kings  |  Last updated 2/12/15

Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
(December 31, 2011 – Source: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America)   Patrick Peterson believes his Arizona Cardinals team can fly by the rest of the NFC West this year. Just like in his rookie season when he blew by defenders returning kicks, he sees the division wide open like the running lanes he saw back then on his way to tying an NFL record four kickoff/punt returns over 80 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals were only a win or two away from the postseason a year ago and despite some key losses, namely on the defensive side of the ball, Peterson feels they still have what it takes to overtake the division and dethrone his arch nemesis Richard Sherman and the defending super bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. “We gave San Fran two games last year.Gave them two games last year,” Peterson said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “Came out slow and played Seattle slow in the first game, and we still ended up climbing back in the game to the fourth quarter and we kind of tucked our tail again. We went up to Seattle (and won). And lord knows we gave the Rams the first game we played them.” “We got what it takes. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the personnel. We’ve got the great coaching staff, front office. We have everything in the pot that we need to help us win ballgames.” With the loss of two key defensive players in starting inside linebackers Daryl Washington (one year suspension) and Karlos Dansby (via free agency) the Cardinals will have their work cut out trying to replace them. They are looking internally and externally to make up for the enormous loss of production in second year player Kevin Minter and signing Ernie Sims and Larry Foote in the offseason. They lost starting running back Rashard Mendenhall to retirement but last years back up Andre Ellington looks to be up to the challenge and have a breakout year as the new starting running back. They also get last years first round pick offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper back after missing the entire 2013-2014 season. But it will ultimately be the defense that carries the team into the playoffs. With a fearsome defensive line and ball hawks galore in the secondary, its hard not to imagine Arizona flying under the radar and surprising everyone in the division. However the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are not going to just hand the crown over so easily. Both teams have not lost much production and made their own upgrades at key positions as well. The St. Louis Rams are not to be overlooked as well having arguably one of the best pass rushers in the game today in defensive end Robert Quinn. Playing in the best division in the NFL will certainly be an advantage to the winner. Being battle tested for six games can only benefit them come playoff time and don’t be surprised to see the Arizona Cardinals perched atop the NFC West mountain looking to be the first team in NFL history to host the super bowl in their own stadium. Phoenix Sports-Kings Contributor, Manuel Childs
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Blue Jays OF tears meniscus in freak sprinkler accident

Death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Five bubble teams playing well heading into March

Falcons release Steven Jackson

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

Judge overturns Peterson suspension; NFL to appeal

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Full offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

Brandon Bostick received death threats after botched play

Ex-Louisville player charged with rape, sodomy

WATCH: Sidney Crosby catches teammate's stick in mid-air

WATCH: Vanderbilt coach tells own player 'I'll f-ing kill you'

Are the Kings willing to trade DeMarcus Cousins?

Johan Santana signed by Blue Jays to minor league deal

Leafs trade David Clarkson to Blue Jackets For Nathan Horton

Panthers acquire Jaromir Jagr from Devils

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

HBO picks up The Rock’s football series, ‘Ballers’

The key offseason moves for every MLB team

Giancarlo Stanton gets first-ever customized facemask

Ronda Rousey, Arianny Celeste have verbal sparring match

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Rousey, Arianny Celeste get into it

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The parallels of Rose and Hardaway

Offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

On Josh Hamilton's addiction and feeling alone

Judge rules against AP's suspension

Why the Lions should let Suh walk

Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.