Peter King: On Secret to Cardinals Success

“They are who we thought they were.”

Are they?

Yes Denny Green, people are starting to believe in your former team here in the desert.

Funny thing is nobody is letting them off the hook.

Why would they?

Of course, the season is less than half over and we’ve seen many NFL teams freeze up when the winters temperatures drop but you get the impression the Arizona Cardinals, week-by-week, are still out to prove last year’s double-digit win season was no joke. It also doesn’t hurt the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers sit two games behind the Cards (5-1) in the NFC West.

They’ve been doing it at times with smoke and mirrors, playing half their games without starting quarterback Carson Palmer and a number of key defensive players like Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell.

“Arizona has amazed me,” SI.com Senior NFL Writer Peter King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in his weekly interview Tuesday. “Absolutely amazed me in being able to [shake] off the losses of so many important defensive players. You could argue in the last couple weeks they’ve been without their four most important players from last year with the exception of Patrick Peterson and Patrick Peterson isn’t playing like one of their four best defensive players.”

The Cardinals have been effective defensively by making teams one-dimensional. Arizona leads the NFL in rushing defense, allowing a paltry 72.5 yards per game. Not surprisingly, they haven’t had nearly the success through the first six games slowing down the passing game but are fifth in the league in points allowed at just under 20 per game. No defensive statistic is more important than scoring defense.

“I just marvel at the job [defensive coordinator] Todd Bowles has done,” King explained to Cesmat. “People are going to notice this after the season. I really think he’s going to get some attention and more than one interview for a head coaching job this off-season.”

Bowles and the rest of the Cardinals will look to push their win streak to three against another 5-1 team, Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Kickoff is set for 1:05.