Believe it or not the Arizona Cardinals are still very much alive
The Arizona Cardinals may be 4-8, but given the current state of the NFC West, the Redbirds are still very much alive in the division race.
It has been done before. Flash back to the 2008 NFL Season, and the 4-8 San Diego Chargers ran the table in the final four weeks to capture the AFC West at 8-8. Let’s go back even further to 1996, and the 4-7 Jacksonville Jaguars. While they did not win the division, the second-year Jags embarked on a deep playoff run.
So it is possible for the Cardinals to get it together, finish 9-8, and win the NFC West? Sure, there is little margin for error, and yes, it is next to impossible, but how many 4-8 teams in the NFL over the past 15 seasons still at least have a chance? Few, and the Cardinals are lucky enough to be in that club.
Ordinarily, I would have no hope here, especially since I’ve spent 13 weeks telling you how much Kliff Kingsbury, Steve Keim, and Kyler Murray have been coaching, managing, and playing so poorly. But so have the following teams and quarterbacks on many accounts:
- New England Patriots – Mac Jones
- Denver Broncos – Russell Wilson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tom Brady
- Atlanta Falcons – Marcus Mariota
And the San Francisco 49ers have been relegated to playing Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. So there’s a good chance they could collapse if Purdy starts to play like Mr. Irrelevant, and history is not on his side.
How can the Arizona Cardinals win the NFC West?
For one, they need a little bit of luck. Purdy needs to play like a rookie seventh round draft pick, and chances are, that can happen once teams acquire film on the kid. The Cardinals also need to beat San Francisco in that final game if they want any hope at this.
The 49ers must also lose out, starting in this week’s matchup against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Seattle Seahawks must also not win any more than one game. But unfortunately for the Cardinals, they have to play the 49ers once in that stretch, along with the Carolina Panthers and the Los Angeles Rams.
That said, it’s going to be tough, because the Cardinals also have no choice but to win out, which, considering their schedule, is possible. But Kyler Murray needs to start playing like the 7-0 version of himself that we nearly grew accustomed to last season and for once, turn into a field general.
And Kliff needs to start utilizing Kyler’s strengths, as opposed to force-feeding the “Air Raid” offense down his throat. Murray isn’t an “Air Raid” quarterback, but a dual threat. Yet, he hasn’t had much opportunity to showcase those dual threat skills thanks to Kingsbury’s offense.
Overall, the Arizona Cardinals must play mistake-free football. They also need the 49ers and Seahawks to pretty much lose out, but the Seahawks, must, in turn, beat the Niners, and lose the rest of their games. The Redbirds need to run the table, but to do this, Kliff and Kyler need to revert back to the dynamic duo they were during the first half of the 2021 season.
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