Arizona Cardinals correct to ignore outside expectations for 2023

By now, everyone in the NFL universe has heard about how bad the Arizona Cardinals are supposed to be this season.
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) during training camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) during training camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

If you walked up to any of the 53 players who will start the season in an Arizona Cardinals uniform and told them about their low expectations for 2023, they will most likely respond with three words: “We don’t care.” And honestly, why would they put much stock into what the media is saying about them?

""Every team has expectations to win. We are coming off a rough last season. We are coming off the situation we are in. But no one really cares. When you go and tell someone your problems, they are going to say, 'I really don't care.'""

Zaven Collins

Source: Cardinals, Gannon Creating Own Expectations For Season by Darren Urban, AZ Cardinals

Outside linebacker Zaven Collins summed up the Cardinals mentality better than anyone else, as you can see in the above snippet. It’s clear that Collins, and most of those on that ill-fated 2022 team that finished 4-13, have put the previous season behind them. 

As they should, given the number of changes taking place within the organization that started when owner Michael Bidwill hired Monti Ossenfort as the team’s general manager. From there, it’s been a snowball effect, with an offseason geared toward the team’s long-term success, a strong draft, and most importantly, a culture change. 

Arizona Cardinals don’t need to put stock into what anyone says

Something I’ve always preached is that no real amount of analytics, intuition, or expertise can predict a season 100% accurately, or even close to that. I love using the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals and, ironically, the 2022 Rams as perfect examples. 

Few saw the Bengals getting anywhere near a Super Bowl in 2021, but they won their first AFC Championship in over three decades, and nearly won it all. As for the Rams, the team that did win the Super Bowl that season, even fewer saw the 5-12 debacle that started in September 2022.

So yeah, people outside of the Arizona Cardinals building can say what they will about the team. But at the end of the day, they are nothing more than projections, and the Cards are wise enough to brush off those low expectations as no big deal. They will let their play do the talking on Sundays this upcoming fall.