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Redskins 2016 Season Preview: Arizona Cardinals, Week 13


As the Washington Redskins get closer to the start of another season, will preview all 16 of the team's regular season games, continuing with today's look against the Arizona Cardinals. *

The Arizona Cardinals will aim for their second consecutive NFC West Division title with Carson Palmer under center, hoping to go one step further than last year and reach the Super Bowl in 2016.

Result Of Last Game vs. Arizona: Lost 20-30 on Oct. 12, 2014

Arizona's Key additions: Signed G Evan Mathis, S Tyvon Branch; Traded for DE Chandler Jones; Drafted DT Robert Nkemdiche (Mississippi), CB Brandon Williams (TAMU)

Arizona's Key Subtractions: G Jonathan Cooper (traded/Patriots), T Bobby Massie (free agent/Bears), S Rashad Johnson (free agent/Titans), CB Jerraud Powers (free agent/Ravens), G Ted Larsen (free agent/Bears), LB Sean Weatherspoon (free agent/Falcons), LB Dwight Freeny (free agent)

Arizona's Pro Bowlers: ST Justin Bethel, DT Calais Campbell, WR Larry Fitzgerald, G Mike Iupati, S Tyrann Mathieu, QB Carson Palmer, CB Patrick Peterson

A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals.

The Washington Redskins continue their road trip after their Thanksgiving game in Dallas with an even further trip across the country to take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13.

The last time the Redskins visited Phoenix was in 2014, and the taste of their loss, for those that were a part of it, is still sour.

Arizona was one game away from reaching the Super Bowl last season after beating the Packers in overtime in the divisional round, and then falling to the Panthers in the conference championship.

Still, the Cardinals could be proud of their accomplishments, putting together three consecutive seasons of 10-plus wins, which included two straight trips to the postseason. In 2016, they'll look to defend their NFC West title for the first time since 2010.

If you've watched any of Amazon's miniseries "All or Nothing," then you're already aware that Carson Palmer, at age 36, returns to lead the team at quarterback after throwing for an impressive 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns (both career highs) and 11 interceptions in 2015.

That was due in large part to the diverse array of talent surrounding him in the offense.

Running back David Johnson, who broke onto the scene last year to displace Chris Johnson from the starting role, rushed for 581 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. His development should only progress and be complemented by Andre Ellington, who added 289 rushing yards and three scores.

The offense will once again be anchored, however, by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was primarily responsible for the Cardinals' overtime victory – the 75-yard scamper and the 5-yard shovel score – and led the team in receiving.

His 1,215 yards were good for ninth-best in the league, which he paired with 109 receptions and nine touchdowns.

Palmer spread the ball around to his other weapons, too, including John Brown (1,003 yards, 65 receptions, seven touchdowns) and Michael Floyd (849 yards, 52 receptions, six touchdowns).

He'll also have a dangerous weapon in J.J. Nelson, the speedster from Arizona whose 4.28 40-yard dash last year translated to the field, where he caught 11 passes for 299 yards.

Defensively, the most notable changes will be up front. The Cardinals look like they won't miss a beat after losing Dwight Freeney thanks to the additions of linebacker Chandler Jones, acquired in a trade with the Patriots, and first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche from Ole Miss.

Jones had an incredible season in New England where he collected 12.5 sacks, adding to a passing attack that includes Calais Campbell on the defensive line and Markus Golden, an outside linebacker and 2015 draft selection that had a promising rookie season recording four sacks.

Out in coverage, and hoping for a full season this year, is safety Tyrann Mathieu, whose strong year -- he was the likely 2016 NFL Defensive Player Of The Year -- was cut short during Week 15 thanks to an ACL injury. He led the team with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and swatted away 17 passes.

He oversees corners Patrick Peterson, many of whom believe might be the best cornerback in the game today, and Justin Bethel, a Pro Bowler on special teams last year, and will work alongside newly acquired safety Tyvon Branch.

Peterson's smaller stats – two interceptions and 31 tackles -- are an indication of how effective he has become in coverage entering his sixth-year in the league. 

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