3 winners and 3 losers through the Arizona Cardinals first 13 games

The Arizona Cardinals are 3-10, but they have had their fair share of winners and losers throughout their first 13 games in 2023.

Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) and tight end
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) and tight end / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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James Conner
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

5 - Winner: Running game

Through 14 weeks, the Arizona Cardinals still boast one of the best running games in football with an eighth-ranked 1,611 rushing yards. They are averaging 4.7 yards per rush, which ranks third in the NFL at the time of this writing, and are ninth with 123.9 yards per contest. 

James Conner has led the crew, and despite missing time with a knee injury earlier in the season, opponents have yet to figure out how to slow him down. This isn’t to say Conner will be in town next season or that Emari Demercado and Michael Carter are the future, but the system could allow backs with just an average skill-set to post solid numbers, which is a huge win for the offense. 

6 - Loser: Cardinals corners

To be fair, the likes of Garrett Williams and Kei’Trel Clark will help this unit improve in time, and even Antonio Hamilton has been adequate. But the Arizona Cardinals put their faith in Marco Wilson far longer than they should have, and he almost single handedly brought down this unit

Sure, Clark struggled early in the season, and Williams couldn’t play until Week 7. Hamilton was aging and understandably wasn’t part of the team’s long-term aspirations, but all of the aforementioned names would have fared better than Wilson as the top corner, who in 11 starts, deflected just four passes and allowed a 136.7 quarterback rating. 

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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference, grades provided by PFF [subscription])