3 things that went right for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023

The 2023 season was deceptive regarding the Arizona Cardinals, as nothing was supposed to go right for this team sans a so-called tank.

Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) hands
Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) hands / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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James Conner
Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

2 - Running game

When you look at the Arizona Cardinals 4-12 record, it may be tough for outsiders to understand that the Redbirds ranked among the NFL’s best in rushing offense. Through 17 weeks in 2023, however, running back James Conner ranks fourth in rushing yards among backs who have played in 13 or fewer games, and that alone is impressive. 

But when you consider the Cardinals are tied for 10th in rushing touchdowns despite possessing an up-and-down offense while they rank sixth in rushing yards, tied for first in yards per carry, and ninth in rushing first downs, only then will you understand just how much the ground game carried this team. Sure, when they are 4-12, it means the rushing offense can’t do everything, but it’s definitely a huge plus heading into 2024. 

And it’s not just the trio of James Conner, Emari Demercado, and Michael Carter carrying the load, as Kyler Murray also showed us this season that he can still pick up solid yardage on the ground. In nearly every game this season, the Cardinals running game has shown up, and that shouldn’t change when September 2024 arrives.