Cardinals jokingly chosen as second-most likely to disappoint in 2021

(Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK) J.J. Watt /

There are plenty of reasons to believe that the Arizona Cardinals will not end up being a team that will disappoint during the 2021 NFL season.

Count this up for a good laugh. NFL Spin Zone recently posted its top five teams that will definitely disappoint in 2021. The Arizona Cardinals came in second on the list, and that’s where I have MAJOR problems.

Is it the continued hate on the team for taking away the Houston Texans’ stars two years in a row like it was candy from a baby? Is it still the fact that everyone sees Arizona as a “retirement home” (never mind that this so-called “retirement home nearly won a Super Bowl in 2008)?

While the author of the article, Cody Williams, isn’t wrong about being skeptical over the abilities of Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury, there’s a lot that needs to be remembered about last season.

The fact we even had football in a pandemic is a huge reason that many teams around the NFL struggled. Because of this, Kyler Murray’s second season as the Cardinals starting quarterback was stunted by a lack of training camp and preseason games.

The same applies to new Arizona wide receiver A.J. Green, who played for arguably the worst coach in the league in Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals, which also had a terrible offensive line that just destroyed quarterback Joe Burrow.

Veteran leadership is an intangible that you can’t coach, so J.J. Watt and Rodney Hudson will help Arizona become more disciplined and detailed in their approach, among other areas.

New Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler was only cut by the Tennessee Titans because the team gave him a bigger contract than what they could truly afford, not for his performance. Butler tied his career-high in interceptions last year and he had 100 combined tackles.

Last season, Arizona’s offensive line was 11th in the NFL in sacks allowed, without Rodney Hudson. That number should improve even more in 2021 with Hudson in the middle

Just tell me you don’t follow the Cardinals without saying that specifically.

Where’s the evidence that the San Francisco 49ers are better than the Arizona Cardinals?

Am I missing something here? The San Francisco 49ers under Kyle Shanahan have been everyone’s favorite kid to talk about in the NFC West. Please tell me how the 49ers got better this year.

Drafting Trey Lance is a step in the right direction as opposed to Jimmy “I can only make clutch handoffs” Garoppolo. Keeping Trent Williams and adding Alex Mack count as well.

The thing is, Shanahan has only posted a winning record ONCE in four seasons as the 49ers head coach. So why do we expect 2021 to be any different?

If anyone else in the division should be on the hot seat, it’s Shanahan. Let’s not forget the Week 1 matchup last season where the Cardinals beat San Francisco (who were mostly healthy for the whole game, minus George Kittle) to start 1-0.

The Los Angeles Rams are the only other team in the NFC West that truly got better this offseason.

The addition of Matthew Stafford is huge for the Rams. It makes the path out of the NFC West harder for everyone, especially for Arizona. Having Stafford who can produce with nothing around him now on a team with a great offensive-minded coach should do wonders for his career.

Add in a defense that can actually get off the field and we could see Stafford in the race for multiple NFL awards this season.

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t do much at all during the last few months besides signing Gerald Everett and going through drama with Russell Wilson, and now Jamal Adams (the league’s best third-level linebacker).

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When it comes down to it all, Arizona will need to win the close games they lost last year. They were two kicks away and two embarrassing losses (Detroit, Carolina) from being a 12-4 team in 2020. The pressure is there, but it goes as they say; “No Pressure, No Diamonds”.