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Preseason power rankings: No. 12 Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals were close to making the playoffs but couldn't in a powerful NFC. This year they have a chance to make it in.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Record: 10-6

Notable Losses:Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington (suspension), Rashard Mendenhall (retirement), Eric Winston, Andre Roberts

Notable Gains: Jonathan Dwyer, Ted Ginn, John Carlson, Jared Veldheer, Antonio Cromartie

Draft Class: Deone Buchanon, Troy Niklas, Kareem Martin, John Brown, Logan Thomas, Ed Stinson, Walt Powell

The Facts: The Cardinals came incredibly close to making the playoffs in 2013. I see them picking up where they left off in 2014. They have a secondary on par with Seattle's, an incredible defensive line,and a decent linebacker corps.

Offensively, they have a good running back stable with Andre Ellington and Jonathan Dwyer, at wide receiver they have Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown and Ted Ginn. At tight end they have Rob Housler, John Carlson and Troy Niklas. It's when we start to look at the quarterback and offensive line I get concerned.

I do not think that Carson Palmer is better than Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson and I do think that that's what's going to keep the division out of the Cardinals reach. Palmer is on the downside of his career and the offensive line hasn't won my confidence that it can handle the harsh front sevens of the NFC West.

Ultimately those two factors will hinder the Cardinals from hitting their maximum potential in 2014.

Predicted Record: 10-6. Wins against Rams, Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Giants, Chiefs, Falcons, Chargers, Raiders and 49ers.

If you disagree with my ranking and assessment remember: Unless it's something crazy, your guess is as good as mine.