The Arizona Cardinals are the oldest continually run football team in America, originally starting in Chicago and eventually coming to Arizona in 1988. For all that history though, their last championship came in 1947. Since then they have made the Super Bowl just once, in 2008 when they lost in the last minute to Pittsburgh. The last great Cardinals team was in 2015 under Bruce Arians when they made it to the NFC championship game, but since then they have been going backwards. In 2018 they have a new rookie quarterback to lead the team, can you finally deliver a championship to the Cardinals?
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Arizona Cardinals have a very poor 73 overall rating in Madden 19. This is tied for worst in the game with the New York giants. However, it isn’t all terrible for the Cardinals. The defense is the star of the show, picking up a 79 rating which puts it above four other teams and tied with three. Offensively the Cardinals are one of the worst in Madden 19 with a rating of 73, but they do have some talent and a young quarterback to build around.
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback (OVR 92)
Development Trait: Star
Contract: 3 years/$37.9 million
2018 Cap Hit: $10.9 million
Best Stats: Jumping (97), Agility (95), Speed (93), Press (93), Man Coverage (92), Acceleration (92), Zone Coverage (91), Play Recognition (89)
The Cardinals took Patrick Peterson with the fifth-overall pick in 2011 and they were rewarded with one of the best cornerbacks of his generation. Peterson picked off 9 passes in his first two seasons before quarterbacks began to throw away from him with regularity. Peterson has been a terrific man-to-man cover corner, but also an excellent return man. He scored 4 punt return touchdowns as a rookie, but the Cardinals quickly removed him from that role as his importance to the defense increased.
David Johnson, Running Back (OVR 87)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract: 4 years/$27 million
2018 Cap Hit: $6.66 million
Best Stats: Agility (93), Speed (92), Juke Move (92), Acceleration (91), Vision (89), Carrying (86), Stiff Arm (86), Break Tackle (86)
David Johnson came into the NFL as a third-round pick for the Cardinals in 2015. He saw little action early on as a rookie, but injuries to others gave him a chance to take over the role and he was an immediate hit. In 2016 he became the starter and was one of the most productive players in the NFL. He racked up over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and a total of 20 touchdowns on his way to a spot on the First Team All-Pro. Injury sidelined Johnson for all but half a game in 2017, but he returns in 2018 as one of the most complete running backs in football, capable of dominating both on the ground and as a receiver.
Chandler Jones, Defensive End (OVR 84)
Age: 28 touch
Development Trait: Quick
Contract: 4 years/$55.2 million
2018 Cap Hit: $12.3 million
Best Stats: Acceleration (86), Play Recognition (85), Tackle (85), Pursuit (85), Power Moves (84), Strength (83)
Chandler Jones was a first-round pick for the New England Patriots in 2012. He quickly became one of the most consistent edge defenders in the NFL. In his second season he racked up 11.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. He was a big part of the Patriots run to Super Bowl XLIX but toward the end of his rookie contract he was traded to Arizona. Since getting to Phoenix Jones has become an even better pass rusher. In two years with the Cardinals he has 28 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, and 54 QB hits.
Josh Rosen, Quarterback (OVR 74)
Development Trait: Quick
Contract: 4 years/$17.56 million
2018 Cap Hit: $4.25 million
Best Stats: Throw Power (93), Short Accuracy (85), Acceleration (84), Throw Under Pressure (82), Play Action (82), Medium Accuracy (79)
The Cardinals took Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft. Rosen was a three-year starter at UCLA and left with 9,340 yards, 59 touchdowns and a 60.9 completion percentage. Those numbers are far from amazing, but Rosen’s mobility, arm talent, and ability to read defenses impressed scouts. Rosen is a nice quarterback to build around in Madden 19 and will provide enough offense to begin with.
Full Roster & Depth Chart
|QB||OVR||Speed||Throw Power||Short Accuracy||Medium Accuracy||Deep Accuracy||Throw Under Pressure||Play Action|
|FB||OVR||Speed||Strength||Carrying||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|WR||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Catching In Traffic||Spectacular Catch||Release||Jumping|
|TE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Catching||Short Route||Medium Route||Deep Route||Run Block|
|OL||OVR||Speed||Strength||Pass Block||Run Block||Lead Block||Impact Block|
|DE||OVR||Speed||Agility||Strength||Block Shedding||Finesse Moves||Power Moves|
|DT||OVR||Speed||Strength||Power Moves||Finesse Moves||Block Shedding||Impact Block|
|OLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|MLB||OVR||Speed||Agility||Tackle||Hit Power||Play Recognition||Pursuit||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|Gerald Hodges Jr||70||78||84||86||83||73||80||52||59|
|CB||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage||Press|
|FS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Agility||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|SS||OVR||Speed||Acceleration||Tackle||Play Recognition||Man Coverage||Zone Coverage|
|DJ Swearinger Sr||84||86||91||72||82||79||84|
|ST||OVR||Kick Power||Kick Accuracy|
|Andy Lee (P)||79||96||85|
|Phil Dawson (K)||77||92||82|
|Zane Gonzalez (K)||74||96||78|
The Cardinals roster doesn’t rate very well, but there is talent dotted all over the team. Josh Rosen (93 throw power, 85 short accuracy) is a good young quarterback to build around, and he has an excellent running back in David Johnson (92 speed, 92 juke move) to lean on. At wide receiver there is the legendary Larry Fitzgerald (96 jumping, 93 spectacular catch) as well as the speedster JJ Nelson (96 speed, 86 jumping), however there is a lack of talent at tight end and the offensive line is in particular need of an upgrade at every position.
Defensively things are a little better for the Cardinals. They have good pass rush thanks to Chandler Jones (85 play recognition, 84 power moves) and decent defensive tackles in Corey Peters (88 strength, 80 power moves) and Robert Nkemdiche (86 acceleration, 84 hit power). Haason Reddick (89 acceleration, 83 hit power) brings some more pressure from linebacker and Deone Bucannon (91 acceleration, 89 hit power) can cover a lot of ground too. Patrick Peterson (97 jumping, 92 man coverage) is a brilliant cornerback and Budda Baker (92 agility, 79 man coverage) is a good #2 while Tre Boston (84 zone coverage, 84 play recognition) and DJ Swearinger (84 zone coverage, 83 press) make a nice safety pairing.
Arizona Cardinals Playbook – Offense
I Form Pro
I Form Slot Flex
I Form Twin TE
Strong I Tight
Weak I Wing
Singleback Ace Pair
Singleback Ace Slot
Singleback Bunch Ace
Singleback Dice Slot
Singleback Doubles South
Singleback Wing Pair
Singleback Wing Slot
Singleback Wing Stack
Singleback Wing Tight
Singleback Wing Tight Z
Singleback Y Trips
Pistol Bunch TE
Shotgun Ace Slot Offset
Shotgun Bunch HB Str
Shotgun Empty Bunch Wide
Shotgun Empty Trey Flex
Shotgun Trey Stack
Shotgun Flip Trips
Shotgun Split Close
Shotgun Stack Y-Flex
Shotgun Trips HB Wk
Shotgun Wing Stack
Shotgun Y Off Trio Wk
Shotgun Y Trips Wk
The Arizona Cardinals offensive playbook is a very nice one for shotgun heavy players. Formations like Split Close and Bunch HB Str put defenses in tough spots with the receivers and also leaves David Johnson with a lot of advantageous routes. There are a couple of stack formations that give receivers easy releases, while Shotgun Tight and Shotgun Trey also open up the deep route combinations to really stretch the field. There are enough under center formations to chew the clock too if that is more your style.
Arizona Cardinals Playbook – Defense
4-3 Over Plus
4-3 Wide 9
Nickel Double A Gap
Nickel Wide 9
Big Nickel Over G
Quarter 3 Deep
Goal Line Defense 5-3-3
Goal Line Defense 5-4-2
The Arizona Cardinals defensive playbook is a pretty standard 4-3 playbook. You have the standard 4-3 formations which offer few surprises, but the 4-4 Split formation is a nice change-up front. You get the usual nickel formations too, though fewer than some other 4-3 playbooks. There are just three nickel formations and one dime look. Big Nickel Over G is going to be the best sub package here.
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