I honestly never thought for a moment that my beloved Arizona Cardinals would end up last in their division this year. The week 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers was pegged to be the “division championship game” since it was announced on the schedule, but in reality, it was the fight for last place.
The Cardinals went something like 2 years or so where they never lost back to back games – which, if you do the math, I’d be totally satisfied with, because that would mean that we’d at least end up with an 8-8 record (and a division win per this year’s winner at 7-9). The Cardinals rallied to beat the Raiders in their home opener after getting clobbered in Atlanta the week prior – we were 2-1, my first season opener game with my son – it was awesome!
Then we went to San Diego. I’m so glad I never made it out there for that game – a 41-10 loss isn’t something I could have stomached easily, especially had I spent the gas $$$, hotel $$$, etc.
Next up – home game against the Super Bowl champs. This game was supposed to be difficult. We had struggled in the QB position, we we’re down a few key players due to injury, but wait, “who dat?”. Oh…that’s the Cardinals beating the Saints 30-20 @ home – BOOYAH – if we could beat them, we could have certainly taken the division since our schedule is by far one of the SOFTEST in the league.
Something tells me that Cardinals players don’t have Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” in their iPods.
The Cardinals only won 1 away game all year – Sam Bradford’s first game as an NFL QB – and we BARELY won that game. Every Cardinals fan knows how the story went after beating the Saints…7 game losing streak, morale in the can, and frustration seen on the faces of all the players (unless you’re John Gruden, then you can certainly find DA and Deuce “joking” on the sidelines and obviously having a great time haha).
Final record – 5-11. I think that actually pulls down Whiz’s >50% record as head coach of the Cardinals for the first time since he’s been here. Where do we go from here? We’ve got the 5th round pick in the draft.
Do we take ANOTHER rookie QB? I wouldn’t, and I don’t think Bidwell will either.
Do we take a defensive or offensive tackle (RT)? Possibly.
Do we need to take a look at the WHOLE team? Definitely.
I read somewhere today that “Kurt Warner masked a lot of the issues that still haunt the Cardinals”. I can buy in to that a little bit, because if you think about it, when Kurt was tossing up 5 td’s in a game, the defense was giving up just as many points – we just always managed to stay ahead.
I really think the Cardinals need to start putting their focus on the running game and their defense – with those 2 pieces working great, we can ease a rookie QB in to greatness. Without a solid running game, the Cardinals are going to have a hard time leveraging the talent of the QB’s on their current roster, let alone another rookie, or a veteran on his way out (I still got love for you McNabb, but you know it’s true).
It’s never been easy to be a Cardinals fan, but I’d never turn my back on them – I’ll just have to schedule more meetings with my therapist so we can work through it. haha