What if the Arizona Cardinals are perennial losers in 2023?

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The mainstream narrative surrounding the 2023 Arizona Cardinals is that they will be perennial losers that will own the first overall draft pick in 2024.

Whether you are projected to field the worst team in the NFL or the best team, there are always a bunch of what-ifs to contend with. And for the Arizona Cardinals, it’s no different, as there is a good chance the team ends up as perennial losers following the 2023-24 season. 

But even if the team finishes worse than they did last year, is it an opportune time to abandon them? In my opinion, this season will, in a worst-case scenario, give fans the opportunity to watch the Redbirds play from a different perspective, one not measured by the traditional W’s and L’s, but instead, by how well a young team develops under a first year head coach. 

Arizona Cardinals 2023 season should not be defined with W’s and L's

Suppose the Cardinals enter 2023 and they are so dysfunctional, they drop their first three games by two touchdowns apiece. That definitely wouldn’t do well in the eyes of many fans, but when you give it some serious thought, it’s an opportunity for the team to fare better, learn from their mistakes, and start to improve by the time Week 4 rolls around. 

And suppose the San Francisco 49ers (Week 4) and Cincinnati Bengals (Week 5) both beat them by two or more scores. If the Cards hold them to a one possession game for the first three quarters in each contest, as opposed to just one half in Weeks 1 through 3, that’s progress. Early-season progress, too. 

Maybe they don’t even win in Week 6 vs. the Los Angeles Rams, but instead, they drop that game by a possession because of a late-game drive. At least they kept the contest close, and perhaps a rookie or second-year player enjoyed a great game. 

In short, if the Arizona Cardinals show signs of progress this season, that alone should be enough to provide optimism toward the future. Dysfunction and mistakes are okay for young teams, as it gives them learning opportunities. And sometimes, it’s the only way to grow into a better unit. 

Related. A one-sentence outlook for every player on the Cardinals defense. dark