I’m sure most NFL fans have heard an Arizona Cardinals optimist by now, you know, someone who thinks the Cardinals have a chance at the playoffs this year. I get it, the team has made some positive changes, but can they really compete in the loaded NFC this year?
The easy answer is a simple no. But you never want to say never in professional sports, it’s just not a wise idea. I happen to really like the moves Arizona made in the offseason, but just looking at their situation in realistic manner, they don’t have a snowball’s chance of making it to the playoffs. Maybe, if they played in the much weaker AFC, you could make a case for the Cardinals, but no way in this year’s NFC.
I liken the Cardinals to the Kansas City Chiefs. They’re two teams that have decent amounts of talent on their rosters, but the right personnel didn’t get in place until this year. Both teams have new head coaches and quarterbacks that should put more Ws on the board, but the big difference is, the Chiefs play in a weaker conference.
The Cardinals are no doubt going to take some steps in the right direction in 2013. Bruce Arians is the right man for the job, and Carson Palmer is a much better option at QB than anybody they’ve had in years. With a solid defense already in place, there are a lot of positives right now in the desert. The harsh reality, however, is that this season will likely be about moral victories for the team.
I just don’t see a scenario where they’ll be in position to compete for a wild-card spot. There are just too many teams in a better place right now in the NFC.
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