To Tank or Not To Tank

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Cardinals would be better off losing their final two games

NFL teams, and players individually, aren’t programmed to lose. They’re wired to give 100% on every down, every play, regardless of the situation. So, asking a team to lose on purpose is almost impossible. However, for the Arizona Cardinals, losing their final two games might be the right call.

At 5-8-1, the Cardinals have been eliminated from postseason contention. With their season effectively over, the only thing left to play for is pride. Pride, though, is a powerful motivator.

The Cardinals currently would have the 9th pick in the draft, if the season ended today. Losing their final two games would ensure a pick inside the top 10, and could be even higher, which can only help the team going forward. Conversely, winning the last two games would almost certainly push them well outside of the top 10.

More from Raising Zona

The 2017 NFL Draft is strong at the positions that the Cardinals will likely look to address. One possibility is at cornerback, where they could use another top talent to go with Patrick Peterson. They’ve gotten inconsistent production from the other corner all season. The cornerback class is a good one, but picking inside the top seven instead of the mid-teens could mean the difference between a great player, and a solid player.

Quarterback is another option, and the difference in selection spots could be even more important at that position. This year’s quarterback class is an interesting one, but the higher the draft slot, the higher the likelihood of hitting on a viable replacement for Carson Palmer.

Everybody loves winning. Fans like to see their team win, and players want to win, even when losing is the better option. In this season of disappointment, the Cardinals almost certainly will give their all to win the last two games, but losing is better in the long run.