Do the Arizona Cardinals have a remote chance at the playoffs in 2023?

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) runs out on to the field to take on the Tampa Bay
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) runs out on to the field to take on the Tampa Bay / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Cardinals have a young roster, and most of the time, teams infused with youth and first-time head coaches go nowhere in Year 1.

The Arizona Cardinals are in the middle of a roster makeover that could see them miss the playoffs in 2023 and perhaps even in 2024 as they continue to add young talent to the roster while they fill in the gaps with lesser-known role players. This has indicated to many that the team has zero chance to make the postseason in 2023, but they may find themselves in a better position than you think. 

So how can the Cardinals somehow become one of those seven NFC teams to earn a trip to the playoffs in 2023? Like any team, they need to play to their strengths, and the Redbirds ironically have them. 

Before the NFL Draft, I stressed that the best bet for the Cards is to roll with an old school style of football, thanks to their brewing offensive line. Well, with Paris Johnson Jr. and Jon Gaines II on board, Arizona solidified the unit. They also have three quarterbacks on the roster with dual threat ability, plus a bruiser in James Conner. 

Arizona Cardinals could make postseason if the play to their strengths

It’s still a longshot for the Cardinals to punch a ticket into the postseason since, besides their relative inexperience, they will be learning new systems in camp. But there is always that one team that shocks the league year in and year out. Last year, it was the New York Giants, and the year before that, the Cincinnati Bengals

So the idea isn’t farfetched. But how do the Cardinals earn their way into the 2023 playoffs? For one, they need to remain healthy. And for another, if they went with a run-first, ball-control attack, they could find themselves upsetting a lot of opponents. 

Conner has already shown what he can do when he is healthy, while quarterbacks Clayton Tune and Jeff Driskel can scramble around until Kyler Murray is ready to return. The Cards also have a couple of receivers who could pull some trickery in Greg Dortch and Rondale Moore. 

If they added one more veteran running back, perhaps someone like Kareem Hunt, then they could legitimately excel in an offense that predominantly runs the ball and throws when necessary. It would be a ball-control offense intended to maintain possession and melt down opposing defenses. 

If run properly, the Arizona Cardinals could score just enough to steal a few games from superior opponents. As mentioned, health is a key factor here, but such a strategy just might work if the Cards run it properly. 

Related. Hopkins deal didn't work out like some other Cardinals trades. Hopkins deal didn't work out like some other Cardinals trades. dark

Source: PFF: If there’s a strength for 2023 Cardinals, look to the O-line by Kevin Zimmerman,