Ranking the 12 teams who have yet to win the SB in 2024

MadCardDisease

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#10

Arizona Cardinals
2023 record: 4-13
There were some encouraging developments in Jonathan Gannon's first season as head coach, even amid a 4-13 campaign. Kyler Murray missed more than half the season but showed signs down the stretch of being the playmaker he formerly was pre-injury. And even with the team going 1-8 in games started by other QBs, Arizona was pretty darned competitive throughout, losing five one-score games and winning twice on the road in December, at Pittsburgh and at Philly.

With another year between Murray and his ACL surgery, more is expected. He also got help at receiver (via rookie Marvin Harrison Jr. and vet Zay Jones), on the offensive line (Jonah Williams and two draft picks) and at running back (with rookie Trey Benson complementing James Conner nicely). Don't overlook a possibly huge year from TE Trey McBride, too; he averaged 67.3 receiving yards with Murray last season, as opposed to just 31.9 without.

But if Gannon is going to translate promise into Year 2 victories, it's going to take a Herculean effort defensively. The Cardinals ranked 29th in both rushing-yard and pass-yard averages, were dead last in third-down defense and allowed the second-most points in the league at 26.8 per. This offseason, they added some solid pieces in free agency (Justin Jones, Mack Wilson, Sean Murphy-Bunting) and two potential starters via the draft (Darius Robinson, Max Melton). Yet it's clear this unit remains a work in progress until we witness major improvements firsthand.

There's also the matter of the division. The Cardinals might be able to make a move on the Seahawks as they enter a transition period, and they might even be able to gain ground on the Rams, although it will take a better head-to-head effort after losing two games to them by a combined 40 points last season. Still, the biggest hurdle remains the 49ers, who beat Arizona by two-plus scores twice and remain a prime Super Bowl contender.

I can absolutely stump for an improved Cardinals team. But there's just no way I can project them to come within sniffing distance of the club's first-ever Super Bowl title this coming season. Let's instead circle back and see how close they are a year from now.
 
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