Arizona Cardinals competitive spirit will pay off in the second half of the season

It’s Week 9 of the 2023 NFL Season, and the Arizona Cardinals sit at a paltry 1-7 as we near the halfway point of what has been a trying year so far.
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Yeah, 1-7 is just about where most analysts predicted the Arizona Cardinals would be at this point, if not worse. The good news, however, is that the Cards, if you have watched them this year, are better than their record. 

You could even claim that had Kyler Murray been healthy all year, the Redbirds would be at least 3-4, and they could be right in the thick of things at midseason. Instead, the Cards had to sit Murray while he still recovered from a torn ACL, and play Joshua Dobbs, whose performance steadily declined following their Week 3 win over the Dallas Cowboys. 

A few sources, however, have taken note of the Cardinals competitive drive, and it’s the most positive trait any 1-7 team can have. The Redbirds could, and probably would have, folded by now, but they haven’t, and it speaks dividends to the way this team is coached. 

Kyler Murray’s return will reward the competitive Arizona Cardinals

We don’t know if Murray will return this week against the Cleveland Browns or next week vs. the Atlanta Falcons, but we do know he will give the Cardinals a chance to win most, if not all, remaining games on the schedule. Murray isn’t just a talented player, but he will display a sense of urgency that we have rarely seen from the quarterback across his first four years of his career. 

The Cardinals currently hold the top pick, so if that remains the case and Murray struggles, they can replace him. However, Murray has also shown us more than a few flashes that he can be the team’s franchise quarterback. He’s also shown far more maturity and interest this season than he had across his first four years combined. And once again, that’s a testament to the new, or current, staff - they’re not exactly new these days.

We don’t know how many games the Arizona Cardinals will win with Murray back under center. But we know he will reward them with a few more W’s with his more consistent play than Joshua Dobbs would have given them.

The Cards have shown enough fight that I can confidently say would have warranted them a few more wins if they had a decent quarterback in the first eight games. That drive will carry over into November and December, so don’t be surprised if that No. 1 pick the Cardinals currently hold ends up in the bottom half of the top 10.


Source: Arizona Cardinals’ fight ‘unwavering’ despite losses piling up in 2023 by Tyler Drake, Arizona Sports