August 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Fans enter before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals are perhaps the most underrated NFL team in football. But the question is why?
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about why the Cardinals are under appreciated. Mentioning their appreciation or lack thereof does not have anything to do with the talent on their current roster.
Because I believe the talent level on their current roster can compete (rival) with any team in the NFL. For that matter, with the risk of sounding a little bias, I think the talent on their current roster is terrific and perhaps one of the more talented in the league.
I really believe the lack of appreciation goes hand in hand of why the Cardinals are underrated again this year. Yes I know what you’re thinking; “what do you mean? They were 5 and 11 last year. How can you say they are underrated this year?”
However, it goes much deeper than that. The reason they are underrated and underappreciated is because of their lack of on field success historically. In other words, the lack of a winning tradition historically (in my opinion) plays a huge role in the national opinion for the Arizona Cardinals. Do you agree?
If the Cardinals had a Super Bowl winning history similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few, without question they would get the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt in my mind the popularity of the team plays a huge role in how a team is rated nationally year in and year out.
Having said that, who knows how the team will fare this year with a new coaching staff, a new quarterback in Carson Palmer and countless turnover of the roster. As we all know, it usually takes time for a team to gel and gain chemistry. In most cases, chemistry just does not happen overnight.
However, the talent on the roster is there. New GM Steve Keim and new head coach Bruce Arians have done a marvelous job revamping the roster this offseason. In time, hopefully sooner rather than later, the Cardinals will prove to be as good as anyone. I am willing to take the heat if I turn out to be completely wrong, but just give me two full years before you start criticizing me ok (with a chuckle).
Therefore, yes the Cardinals are underrated this year. For instance, hypothetically speaking, if you were to put this same talent (that is on the Cardinals current roster) in a Cowboy, Packers or Steelers uniform (with their winning tradition) mark my word, the Arizona Cardinals would get the benefit of the doubt. There would be more hype than they are currently getting and in turn be rated much higher this season than they are. After all, as we all know, this is a year to year league. Almost any team in this league if everything goes right, (provided there is not a rash of injuries) has the chance to be good. Do you agree or disagree?
Having said that, I do well understand this is the way it will be for the Cardinals until they win a Super Bowl and have a run of consistency. For instance, a team that has changed the perception of fans and the media nationwide are the New England Patriots. For the last decade or so, Tom Brady and the Patriots, because of their Super Bowl run, have garnered much respect throughout the league.
Now let’s see if the Redbirds can prove me right and get off to a great start and surprise. Let’s see if they can quickly change the opinion nationally and garner more appreciation. Let’s see if our beloved franchise can quickly change the opinion nationally from being underappreciated to appreciated. We will start getting an idea this Saturday night, as they face the San Diego Chargers.