Arizona Cardinals can further prove preseason expectations are worthless with a win Sunday

While we knew 2023 wasn’t going to be a good year for the Arizona Cardinals, preseason expectations led many to believe that they would be a terrible football team.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck (45) takes the field for their game against the Atlanta
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck (45) takes the field for their game against the Atlanta / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

This Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals are facing a Houston Texans team that has already proven just how useless preseason expectations are. Before training camp even kicked off, the Cardinals and Texans were supposed to be the NFL’s worst football teams, and that hasn’t been the case, especially for Houston

And let’s be real: If Kyler Murray was cleared to play from Week 1 and onward, the Cards would have at least won their first two games, and would likely sit at roughly 4-6. Therefore, you can attribute most of their struggles to Murray’s absence, plus a rash of injuries that hit them starting in camp. 

Now that the Cards are a healthier bunch with Murray back at quarterback, this still isn’t a good football team, but they’re also not as terrible as some in the league. If they win, or even if they make this game interesting on Sunday, then they can further show that no one needs to take preseason expectations seriously. 

Arizona Cardinals can further debunk “tanking” narrative on Sunday

Just last week, I penned a post that highlighted just how far some outlets were willing to go to keep the tanking narratives alive regarding the Cardinals. My point was further driven home when they won this past Sunday on a last-second field goal, and will carry momentum into their Week 11 matchup with Houston. 

They also showed us yet again that preseason expectations are nothing but background noise. And anyone who truly took the time to look critically at what the Cardinals were doing realized that, regardless of what the team did on the field. But it would certainly help if they stayed competitive in many and won even a handful of games. 

And that’s where the Arizona Cardinals stand heading into Sunday’s contest against the Texans. They have been competitive during those early season outings and even won a game no one gave them a chance to win. Even when the inevitable blowout losses occurred, fans were still able to look fondly at this rebuilding group and say, “At least this team doesn’t fold halfway through the third quarter.”

Another win will improve the Cards to 3-8, which not only further debunks the tanking narrative, but preseason expectations in general. Few saw the Cards winning over two games this season, and many tried to claim they were tanking. If the Cards win, it should start formulating a new narrative.


Source: The Cardinals, The Texans, And Those First-Round Picks by Darren Urban,