Will the Arizona Cardinals rule the NFL’s ‘new’ era starting in 2024?

With two long-term coaches leaving their respective teams, a new era has dawned in the NFL, perhaps favoring the Arizona Cardinals.
Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) carries the ball
Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) carries the ball / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Wow, what a week it’s been in the NFL, where we saw not one but a pair of long-term coaches step down from their respective roles. And while Bill Belichick will likely coach someone for the upcoming season, don’t expect any more dynasties unless he somehow finds the next Tom Brady in this year’s draft for wherever he may land. The other coach was a player the Arizona Cardinals are unfortunately quite familiar with - Pete Carroll - who enjoyed several dominant performances over the Redbirds.

With a pair of legendary coaches leaving their respective posts, especially Belichick, it’s obvious the beginning of a new era in the NFL has dawned, and the Cardinals might just be taking advantage of timing and circumstance, two ingredients for success that most don’t mention enough. 

Yet the Cardinals already built a foundation in 2023, and that could take them a long way in 2024 if general manager Monti Ossenfort nails the offseason. And given how well he drafted in 2023 and how serviceable a surprising number of the free agents he brought in were, there is little doubt he will take the Cards to the next level.

Arizona Cardinals may be a key player in the NFL’s new era

One team the Cardinals could wind up forging an incredible rivalry with is the San Francisco 49ers. Here, you have an established group looking down at the NFC West, but a potentially upstart Cardinals team could end up as San Francisco’s biggest threat as the Seahawks are searching for a new head coach and the Rams won’t have quarterback Matthew Stafford much longer. 

Then you have Arizona, a young team that in reality played better than its 4-13 record. One only needs to watch their Week 18 outing to know that, and this team easily could have started off 3-0 had Kyler Murray been good to go in Week 1. Not to mention this team got better for the most part in its final five games, finishing 2-3 but competing in each game they played in. 

And the firings may not be finished yet, as there is almost always that coach in Super Bowl or bust mode, which may further play into the Arizona Cardinals favor. In short, you have two long-tenured coaches who won’t be back, plus at least one division rival taking a step back, perhaps two. With a young football team that can spend, the Redbirds may be looking at the dawn of a new, successful era.