Every new season brings plenty of opportunities for all 32 NFL teams, and the Arizona Cardinals are no outlier. This year, many believe the Redbirds have an opportunity to tank and draft a quarterback named Caleb Williams, even if he has one more year of college eligibility remaining following the 2023 season.
So instead of discussing supposed opportunities outside of the team’s control, like Williams’ decision of whether he will enter the 2024 NFL Draft, let’s focus on a few opportunities Arizona has some control over. Below, you will encounter three of them that will only make the entire unit better and allow them to grow this season.
There are three key teams on the schedule that “Big Red” must get the best of. And although some don’t want to accept it, there is also a potential franchise quarterback on the roster whose status they can solidify this season.
Opportunities the Arizona Cardinals cannot squander in 2023
1 - Beating the Houston Texans
Let’s take a moment and assume that the narrative surrounding the Arizona Cardinals is the correct one: That the team will be awful this season and win just three (or fewer) games. One of those three wins must come against the Houston Texans, whose first round draft pick the Cardinals hold.
This matchup will occur in Week 11, so barring any unfortunate setback, quarterback Kyler Murray should be good to go for the game. Murray should also get the best of Texans rookie C.J. Stroud, and lead the Cards to a relatively easy win on the road.
While some won’t see this as an opportunity to capitalize on since it would put the Cards in a worse position with their own draft pick (assuming they’re a bad team in this case), they have nothing to gain by losing this matchup. If Houston gets the best of the Cards with Murray under center, it puts "Big Red" another step closer to starting over with a new quarterback.
But if the Redbirds win with Murray, they are closer to snagging a high draft pick via the Texans, a team that will undoubtedly struggle with the unpolished Stroud manning the quarterback position. And better yet, that high draft pick isn’t as likely to be used on a quarterback if Murray puts up a solid performance in this game and during the final six contests of the season.