Will the Arizona Cardinals Improve in 2023?

The 2022 NFL season couldn’t have gone much worse for the Arizona Cardinals. Heading into the campaign, many of the State Farm Stadium faithful were quietly optimistic for the upcoming year. Their stadium would be hosting the Super Bowl and the Glendale-based side was hopeful that they could follow in the footsteps of the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both of whom reached and won The Big Game inside their own grounds. 

 Those two Lombardi Trophy winners both had superstar quarterbacks. The former had Matthew Stafford, while the latter had the incomparable Tom Brady in their ranks. The Cardinals had a throwing sensation of their own at QB in Kyler Murray. The 25-year-old was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in his debut campaign back in 2019 and has received Pro Bowl honors in both 2020 and 2021. As well as that, the Texas-born star won the Heisman trophy with the Oklahoma Sooners back in 2019. Murray was charged with the task of leading his side to glory.

2022’s Woes

Heading into last season, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills were made the favorites for Super Bowl glory by OddsChecker, which compares football odds and offers. And those predictions ended up coming true. The former went all the way and the latter reached the divisional round of the playoffs before being downed by Joe Burrow and his Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cardinals were in the middle of the pack, but with a bit of luck may well have reached the postseason at the very least. That aforementioned luck was, however, non-existent.

The Arizona outfit had a decent start to the campaign, going two and two in their first four games. However, their home form left a lot to be desired. Poor defensive work in the curtain raiser against eventual champion Chiefs saw them ship 44 points on home turf. A fortnight later, they would lose to the reigning champions the Rams, one of just five games the Lombardi holders would win all season.

Heading into Week 14, the Cardinals had a dismal record of four wins against eight losses and needed a minor miracle if they were to reach the playoffs. What they got was the exact opposite. Murray suffered an ACL tear in the 13-27 defeat to the New England Patriots. The Cardinals wouldn’t win another game all season and ended up with a record of four wins and 13 losses.

 To put that into perspective, only the Chicago Bears and the Houston Texans had a worse record in the entire league. 

How Do They Improve in 2023? 

The Cardinals have reached the playoffs just five times since the turn of the millennium and, if they are to reach them again in 2023, their first priority needs to be nursing Kyler Murray back to health. Admittedly he didn’t live up to his lofty expectations last year, but he is a proven match-winner on his day, and every good thing that Arizona does goes through him. 

Murray should be fit and firing by the time the new term begins in the fall. Before that, however, comes the 2023 NFL Draft, and the Cardinals are currently in the box seat for the annual lottery. That’s because the Chicago Bears recently stunned everyone by trading away their number one draft pick. As well as that, the number two pick belongs to the Carolina Panthers, who are yet to fill the void left by ‘Super’ Cam Newton at quarterback. 

 The Cardinals will then come in at number three and, as they currently have a franchise starting quarterback in the aforementioned Murray, they have a plethora of options available. They may well look to strengthen their defense, which shipped a whopping 449 points last season, a figure that only the Chicago Bears could defy. If that is the direction that the franchise is planning to head in, then they well may be eyeing up linebackers Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson, as well as defensive tackle Jalen Carter. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *