What a difference a year makes.

slanidrac16

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Last year at this time I honestly already gave up on 2023.
Kyler hurt, new GM(rookie) new HC (rookie PEW PEW) , Hopkins destine to leave, an o-line that was in shambles and a defense in even worse shape. We had no cap space to speak of.

The fan base mostly had their fill with Kyler. We had an oft injured RB that appeared to be 3/4 yards and a cloud of dust. An aging TE coming off injury. We jettison our two superstar in Allen and Murphy(pun intended). Our 90 year old kicker just signed a gazzilion dollar contract. What are we doing?

As the off season continued our big free agent signings were Zac Pascal, Kyzir White and some guy named Froholdt. Things were hopeless. We traded our pick ( on no Will Anderson) and then traded back up for an OT.

It didn’t really get better as the season started. We cut our Qb and trade for this dude from Cleveland 6 days before the opener and it cost us 5th round pick. Talks about Kyler were, when will he be back, if he will be back, we are going to move on from him, to no we’re not.

Even after Kyler returned not to many were convinced he’d be himself or if any version of himself was even good enough. The defense was like a sieve and the losses continued to grow.

Somehow, about 4 weeks ago things seemed to take a turn in the right direction. A pretty convincing victory over the Steelers was received as “ okay, that’s nice”. Then the samething happened in Philadelphia which got most of us to at least raise an eyebrow.

Today, I think most of us believe we are heading in the right direction. Kyler has seemed to return to his old self to a certain extent. It has squelched the talks about trading him or drafting a QB. We found a TE! We discovered Connor is a beast. And this o-line isn’t too bad. Even that Froholdt guy. We watched a team that never quit even in the worst of times.

I’ve never felt better about a 4-13 team. Cautiously I see light at the end of the tunnel hoping it’s not a train heading towards me. There seems to be a pretty clear path to the road of improvement and I believe this staff has instilled a little faith in most of us.

I’m looking forward to this off season. There are sure to be some debates amongst us along the way. I’m also sure I will be pissed off about some of the moves we make or don’t make. But I feel we have one thing today that we didn’t have at this time last year.

Hope.
Sorry for the long post. Just feeling a bit giddy.
 

Cheesebeef

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With a boatload of picks, decent cap room, guessing entire coaching staff coming back, an healthy Kyler from opening day and a weak NFC, there’s no reason this team shouldn’t contend for a wild card spot next year.
 

kerouac9

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With a boatload of picks, decent cap room, guessing entire coaching staff coming back, an healthy Kyler from opening day and a weak NFC, there’s no reason this team shouldn’t contend for a wild card spot next year.
Contend for a wild card maybe but this defense is likely going to be extremely sad again next year. We need maybe five or more starters on that unit.

I think the NFC will be better also. Doesn’t feel great to be playing the AFC East and NFL North.
 
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slanidrac16

slanidrac16

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Contend for a wild card maybe but this defense is likely going to be extremely sad again next year. We need maybe five or more starters on that unit.

I think the NFC will be better also. Doesn’t feel great to be playing the AFC East and NFL North.
That’s why I believe we have to get this offense fully weaponised now. We have to be able to strike fast to go along with this running game.
That alone will help the defense.
 
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slanidrac16

slanidrac16

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Conner has been... wow... easily our MVP. I've called him slow a couple of times. I thought the last extension was too much for him. Wrong on both.

I'm excited for next year too, but agree with K9 that we better work really hard to fix the defense or we won't win poop.
I do too. But it won’t take a lot of our resources to round out the offense. There will be a lot remains that can all go to the defense.
 

Cheesebeef

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Contend for a wild card maybe but this defense is likely going to be extremely sad again next year. We need maybe five or more starters on that unit.

I think the NFC will be better also. Doesn’t feel great to be playing the AFC East and NFL North.

The defense will likely be pretty bad, but I think there’s a chance this offense could be pretty good. But yeah… A LOOOOOONG way to go on D.
 

Red on White

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I’ve never felt better about a 4-13 team. Cautiously I see light at the end of the tunnel hoping it’s not a train heading towards me. There seems to be a pretty clear path to the road of improvement and I believe this staff has instilled a little faith in most of us.
I recall one of my old coaches saying after a long period down the table but after a bit more promising season - that there wasn't any light yet, but announced triumphantly that we'd found the tunnel!
 

Harry

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Last year at this time I honestly already gave up on 2023.
Kyler hurt, new GM(rookie) new HC (rookie PEW PEW) , Hopkins destine to leave, an o-line that was in shambles and a defense in even worse shape. We had no cap space to speak of.

The fan base mostly had their fill with Kyler. We had an oft injured RB that appeared to be 3/4 yards and a cloud of dust. An aging TE coming off injury. We jettison our two superstar in Allen and Murphy(pun intended). Our 90 year old kicker just signed a gazzilion dollar contract. What are we doing?

As the off season continued our big free agent signings were Zac Pascal, Kyzir White and some guy named Froholdt. Things were hopeless. We traded our pick ( on no Will Anderson) and then traded back up for an OT.

It didn’t really get better as the season started. We cut our Qb and trade for this dude from Cleveland 6 days before the opener and it cost us 5th round pick. Talks about Kyler were, when will he be back, if he will be back, we are going to move on from him, to no we’re not.

Even after Kyler returned not to many were convinced he’d be himself or if any version of himself was even good enough. The defense was like a sieve and the losses continued to grow.

Somehow, about 4 weeks ago things seemed to take a turn in the right direction. A pretty convincing victory over the Steelers was received as “ okay, that’s nice”. Then the samething happened in Philadelphia which got most of us to at least raise an eyebrow.

Today, I think most of us believe we are heading in the right direction. Kyler has seemed to return to his old self to a certain extent. It has squelched the talks about trading him or drafting a QB. We found a TE! We discovered Connor is a beast. And this o-line isn’t too bad. Even that Froholdt guy. We watched a team that never quit even in the worst of times.

I’ve never felt better about a 4-13 team. Cautiously I see light at the end of the tunnel hoping it’s not a train heading towards me. There seems to be a pretty clear path to the road of improvement and I believe this staff has instilled a little faith in most of us.

I’m looking forward to this off season. There are sure to be some debates amongst us along the way. I’m also sure I will be pissed off about some of the moves we make or don’t make. But I feel we have one thing today that we didn’t have at this time last year.

Hope.
Sorry for the long post. Just feeling a bit giddy.
Excellent post. Write as much as you feel. That’s one of the values of the board. I think many shared quite a few of these feelings. One of the nice parts to me is I can look at yesterday’s loss and feel confident next year’s team will be dramatically stronger. It’s nice to have a good feeling about the future. The last few games have convinced me they will be competitive for the playoffs next year.
 

Totally_Red

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I wanted Payton but in retrospect we got the right guy. Watching Dani's piece with Michael Carter gives me hope that free agents may be more open to the Cardinals than they would have been last year.

I wouldn't buy season tickets yet but if I lived in the valley I'd buy a couple game tickets.

Cardinals appear to be 'a team on the come'.
 

Outerlimits

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My expectations for next season are the team hovering around .500 much of the time. The offense could be quite dangerous, but the Cards will still be a year away from being a major threat because of defense.

Granted, if the offense is doing really well, even a middling/mediocre defense could be just good enough to get Wild Card.

I'm optimistic about Gannon/Petzing, and even Rallis(lesser degree). I remember I kind of mocked all the really young position coaches Gannon was bringing to the team, but the players seem to be easily buying into what the coaching staff is selling.

Now we see what Monti does. Should be fun.(damn, I hope so)
 
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Snakester

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There’s a lot to be excited about next year on the offense. I think McBride easily became a top ten if not top five TE. We all knew he had the potential, but I don’t think any of us thought he would be this good this fast.

Our running game looks like it will easily be top ten next season. Conner is a beast I think everyone agrees with that, but our number two Carter was a pleasant surprise for me and for a mid season pickup who saw that coming. I absolutely love some of the ankle breaking Barry Sanders type moves that he has shown.

Our offensive line continued to get better as the season went on. Paris Johnson looked like a four year vet instead of a rookie finishing his first season those last four games.

Froholdt turned out to be a solid signing at center and should only get better next season as the line continues to gel. Will Hernandez did a good job as well and gives us a solid right side of the line.

Although both Colin and Wilkinson played better the last few games I still think we need to pick up a LG that can dominate whether we sign one or draft one in the first two rounds. If we don’t have the chance to draft Marvin Harrison Jr I would love to see us take LT Joe Alt. Can you imagine having two potential pro bowlers at our tackle spots.

I think our top priority should be to finish the offense in the off-season. We need a number one receiver and a left guard and that’s it. I think Michael Wilson showed those last few games that he can be our number two.
 

Garthshort

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The defense will likely be pretty bad, but I think there’s a chance this offense could be pretty good. But yeah… A LOOOOOONG way to go on D.
I think most would have said the same about our offense a year ago. While we have to hit on our draft picks and maybe add a couple of FA's, no reason that our "D" can't stand for decent.
 

BritCard

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I think most would have said the same about our offense a year ago. While we have to hit on our draft picks and maybe add a couple of FA's, no reason that our "D" can't stand for decent.

I agree, I don't think it's as far away from being competitive as people think. It's mainly the D line and mainly the Edge rush. Opposing QB's have all day to stand back and pick off zones. If we can improve that then the whole defense will improve dramatically.

There are other holes for sure, but fixing that will make the biggest difference.
 

kerouac9

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I think most would have said the same about our offense a year ago. While we have to hit on our draft picks and maybe add a couple of FA's, no reason that our "D" can't stand for decent.
Our offense was pretty good over the last five games -- 387.8 YPG was above league-average and would have been the fourth-best yardage offense in the NFL over 17 games.

Just keep in mind that our opponents in those games were ranked thus in defense in 2023:

PIT - 21st
SFO - 8th
CHI - 12th
PHI - 26th
SEA - 30th

Also, I don't think our offense being better than our defense should have been a surprise to anyone. That's where the large balance of our draft and salary cap resources were invested this year.

It's going to be difficult to polish the offense with #1 and #2 receivers and rebuilding the left side of the offensive line while also adding the five or maybe six starters needed on the defensive side of the ball.

But maybe!
 

ASUCHRIS

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I’m trending more and more towards Joe Alt. Of course if we decide to go that power offense route the defense HAS to be much better. The math doesn’t work out with number of possessions in an NFL game.
Well yes, if Harrison isn't available. You'd seriously take Alt over Harrison?
 

football karma

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the offense is closer, and its an offensive draft in the first round and especially at the top of the first round

arguably with Beachum under contract: #1 WR, left Guard, depth at OT, WR and in-line TE

defense -- oh boy. its a long list
 

Covert Rain

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I knew this was going to be a bad bad year but I see some talent to work with and this team needed a culture enema. I am actually really excited to see what this team does in the off season.
 

Cheesebeef

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I’m optimistic going into the off-season and that’s about all you can historically ask of this franchise.

Foundation has been set. Set everywhere? No… there’s really zero foundation on D. But there’s an identity on O,, a couple soldi weapons and more hopeful at QB.
 

football karma

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last year at this time-- I had 0 expectations. Technically, negative expectations as i was prepared for things to get worse before getting better

i now have expectations.

With a NFC where a 8-8 team going into week 18 had plausible playoff hopes -- there is no reason with a good offseason that this team cant be playing meaningful football games next December
 

ajcardfan

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Last year, I had a hard time seeing that we would even get as many wins as 4. This year, I am having a hard time seeing that we get ONLY 4 wins next year. Both teams 4-13.... but completely different vibe.

The defense is SOOOO bad on talent. But, somehow they do things like hold Pittsburgh to 10. And, even yesterday, Seattle scored only 21, they should have lit us up. We HAVE to be a lot more talented on that side of the ball next year.

Offense, with Kyler playing like he did the last two games, we are really close to be playoff level there.

So, yeah, lot more optimistic, and thinking about getting tickets back for next season. Cardinals ticket babe came to our seats and saw me at the game yesterday. She had a tote bag she gave to my wife. She was really nice and cool. Texted me today, asked me what I thought about how the game ended. I am impressed by her effort. I thought the team didn't give a rip about long time fans, but this is actually happening.
 

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