Cardinals appear to have humongous chip on their shoulders

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Kyler Murray
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Kyler Murray /

The 2021 Arizona Cardinals appear to be on a mission to prove that last year’s late-season collapse was nothing but a fluke.

One more victory by the Arizona Cardinals was all that was needed last year to break a postseason drought that has lasted for five consecutive seasons.

The Cards, as we all know, failed to accomplish that feat. With the playoff spot on the line, head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s group were defeated by a pair of backup signal-callers. C.J. Beathard led the San Francisco 49ers to a triumph over Arizona in week 16, and John Wolford and the Los Angeles Rams took care of the Redbirds during the NFL’s final weekend.

When the pressure was on, quarterback Kyler Murray and his Cardinals teammates choked. Can the fans of the franchise expect more of the same from the team in 2021?

Arizona Cardinals played with more urgency during the season-opening victory

The Cards squad that inflicted a 38-13 beating on the Tennessee Titans on the season’s first Sunday did not resemble the crew that failed to show up during the last two weeks of 2020. It was an incredibly confident contingent of players that appeared to be almost unbeatable on opening day. The new and improved Cardinals are still led by a maturing Murray, who promised that the individuals in the locker room that he “won’t let the offense get complacent this year.”

If that’s true, Arizona will continue with its winning ways in the coming weeks and months. There’s a feeling in the air that this season’s version of “Big Red” is above experiencing the heart-wrenching letdowns that the franchise has been privy to in the past.

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Christian Kirk, the Cardinals’ fourth-year wide receiver, appears to be buying into the optimism as he recently proclaimed the team has a “big chip on our shoulder.” Anyone who witnessed what Arizona did to Tennessee on the 12th day of September might have to agree with the pass-catcher’s assessment.