Originally written on Phoenix Sports-Kings  |  Last updated 1/25/15
(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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Anthony caught offering $80 to undercover officer for sex

Robert Kraft wants apology from NFL if nothing found

NFL may be very close to returning to Los Angeles

Report: Kobe definitely returning next season

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses


Kobe Bryant needs surgery, likely out for season

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: NFL has potential video evidence with Deflategate

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

WATCH: Skittles Super Bowl commercial looks ridiculous

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Six X-factors who could make an impact in Super Bowl XLIX

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Kobe not retiring

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Kobe Bryant likely out for the season

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

The five best Super Bowl defenses

NFL has Deflategate video evidence?

Burnell explains why he got emotional

NFL was profiting off Lynch's gesture

NFL finally getting YouTube channel

20 amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.