What Did You Expect from this Season?

Harry

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The Cards entered this season with one of the three weakest rosters in the league. Their regular starting QB was on IR. They let their meaningful free agents leave with no effort to retain them. They released their best WR. They signed zero front line free agent players. They drafted at least 2 early round prospects who were too injured to play in training camp. They traded for a QB who had failed at 4 other teams.

Despite all this they began the season playing harder than there was any reason to expect they would. Regardless of skill level these are pro players who likely could assess the skill level of this team. They knew they were doomed to lose, yet Gannon got the morale level way up. Then, thanks in part to opponent incompetence, they beat the Cowboys. Everyone immediately forgot who they were. Perhaps even they forgot it. Yet losses followed. Then came the highly anticipated return of Murray and they won. He actually played so well it seemed he’d never been gone. Adrenaline is an amazing drug.

Then things started to slip again. Despite a weak opponent they lost to the Falcons, partly because of weird coaching decisions. There were ominous signs the rookies were hitting a wall. Injuries were mounting on a team with the least personnel depth in the league. Then came a game against a team that had historically crushed the Cards even when they were at full strength. Was this loss a surprise? I saw at least 2 pregame TV pundits pick the Cards to win. Why? Because they believed in Murray. Maybe next season, but the NFL is not a video game. It’s reality!

This team never had a chance. Turning on the coaches isn’t fair. They never had a chance. Turning on Murray isn’t fair; he never had a chance. Singling out failing players may be accurate, but they never had a chance. If someone misplayed there was no one to have their back.

It’s okay to complain, especially if you spent hard earned money to see this game. I feel for you. You were conned by hoping that history would’t repeat itself. However, this is the NFL; history almost always does. These are the Cardinals. They have an incredibly long history of disappointing fans. Even their best years since 1947 ended in failure. So, c’mon. What did you expect? I say this realizing at 76 I’m as big a sucker as any of you. I’m still a fan. I still keep hoping. I feel like one of those Cubs’ fans saying, “Wait until next year.” I comfort myself by remembering the long suffering Steelers turned into an NFL power for a while. The Bosox & Cubs both won a World Series. It can happen.

Next year the Cards have money to spend and they will. They have stacks of draft picks. Their top choices from 2023’s draft actually show promise. They made a few small moves, like White, that indicate they may have a handle on quality. So the GM looks able. I like the coaching staff. I’m anxious to see them with a talented roster. Sure I have concerns about Murray, but he’s showing signs of real change. It takes time. All this may yet turn into false hope, but at least this team is trying. Successful or not this isn’t the same old Cardinals. They seem to have an actual plan. They seem to have buy in at every level. They seem to have focus.

For my part I’m willing to go once more into the breach and risk my sanity. Wait until next year!
 

TheCardFan

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I expected us to not be competitive at all. Full tank mode for sure.

How did we beat the Cowboys with this team?

The defense has actually played much better than expected for most of the season with mostly back-ups.

Was it all worth it? We will know more in 2024.
 

kerouac9

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I can't believe people are still twitterpated about "competitive" games against the Giants and Commies early in the season. Those teams suck! Since the Dallas game we've lost by 19, 14, 17, 10, 7, 27 (shut out!), 5, and 24 points, and won a game by 2.

Our defense with our two promising youngesters (LOL) just allowed Matt Stafford to complete 75% of his passes and over 200 yards rushing.
 

RON_IN_OC

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I can't believe people are still twitterpated about "competitive" games against the Giants and Commies early in the season. Those teams suck! Since the Dallas game we've lost by 19, 14, 17, 10, 7, 27 (shut out!), 5, and 24 points, and won a game by 2.

Our defense with our two promising youngesters (LOL) just allowed Matt Stafford to complete 75% of his passes and over 200 yards rushing.
Maybe the defense needs more than two promising youngsters. What do you think?
 

football karma

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i expected to be competitve with flawed teams like the Rams.
 

slanidrac16

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I expected just about what we have. In fact MAYBE a little worse.
When I looked at the schedule I honestly didn’t think we had a chance to win a game until ironically, the Falcons.
We have players on this team that are legitimate starters. However, we have players on this roster that are pretty good backup players that shouldn’t be starters.
As far as Murray goes I want him to be good. Hell, I’d be happy if he was just a little above average and efficient. However, I’m seeing certain aspects of his game that seem eerily similar to the recent past.
I’m actually looking forward to this offseason. I pray we are super aggressive through free agency and we are able to head into the draft with options. If we are passive and plan on strictly building through the draft I will be very disappointed.

In summary this is what I expected but it’s certainly hard to endure losing. I too am 70 years old. Asking me to be patient is asking a bit much. But at least we made changes that I thought were necessary with the K-Boys. This staff is dealing with interest past due on some dumb decisions of the past.

Great post , Harry!
 
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GatorAZ

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Monti wanted a roster that would clinch a top-3 pick. He’s done a great job given his plan but what happens going forward is what I’ll judge him on. The Kyler vs rookie QB decision this off-season will determine his fate as GM.
 

kerouac9

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Maybe the defense needs more than two promising youngsters. What do you think?

I'm not even sure what the ceiling on the youngsters is. But I didn't see them making any plays.

Sometimes slightly less smelly trash looks good when surrounded by truly disgusting garbage. This is the lesson of the Dave McGinnis years.
 

Cheesebeef

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I'm not even sure what the ceiling on the youngsters is. But I didn't see them making any plays.

Sometimes slightly less smelly trash looks good when surrounded by truly disgusting garbage. This is the lesson of the Dave McGinnis years.

Yeah… all the crowing about the Thomas/Myjai Sanders of the team last year should give people pause about praising any youngsters this off-season.

It won’t… but it should.
 

ASUCHRIS

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I was hoping to see the semblance of young talent coming together, and some token effort to improve both lines. Outside of the addition of PJJ, I don't remember any additions of note to either line.

How can you talk about rebuilding and neglect the trenches?
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Yeah… all the crowing about the Thomas/Myjai Sanders of the team last year should give people pause about praising any youngsters this off-season.

It won’t… but it should.
Agreed. Particularly when the praise is based off “flashes.” If those youngsters were very obviously dominating we’d of course all be praising them. But grasping at “flashes” should be a telltale sign that we really have zero idea if those players are legit or not. I laugh whenever I see keitrel clark brought up these days because his “flashes” were essentially just okay that wasn’t Wilson bad and he’s been buried somewhere on the bench for months.
 

Cheesebeef

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I expected us to be abysmal out of the gate and most of the year, but at least hoped the team would be disciplined, well coached and I had a shred of hope it would get a little better as the year went on and Kyler would help contribute to that when he got back. But ultimately, one of the worst cardinals teams of all time, if not the worst.

What I got was surprisingly competitive early, only to get worse and worse as the season went on, the most penalized team in the league, coupled with more and more head scratching 4th down calls/failures and unnecessarily chasing points early, and Kyler not changing the needle much. And at the end of the day, one of the worst Cardinals teams of all time, if not the worst record-wise.
 
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ASUCHRIS

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I think folks here would be less upset if Houston was as bad as we’d expected.

Looking at two top three picks covers a multitude of ills.
You can blame Carolina for that...if they choose Stroud, Houston is likely in top 3 pick territory. :(
 

MadCardDisease

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I predicted that the Cardinals would be competitive early in the season but a lack of depth across the board would rear its head later in the season. I predicted a three win season as a part of the rebuilding process.

My biggest want heading into this season was to see a positive culture change starting with staff and working its way down through the lowest player on the practice squad. I also wanted to see young players get experience and develop through the season.
 

MrYeahBut

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Harry, just like you, I'm 76. I've been rooting for the Cards since high school in the 1960s. 60 years.... 60 years!! I'm having a hard time bringing myself to get optimistic about any of it going forward.... Nothing with Kyler to get excited about. Well, the last 5 years or so, I've been in Cancún during the draft... I've already made my reservation for this coming April.. so there's that..
 

Dayman

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This is pretty much what I expected minus the flashes of hope. I really thought we would see more guys developing outside of McBride. The lack of player improvement on the defensive side is especially troubling given the resume of our HC.

Right now we just seem like a bad team in need of a lot of talent. And it doesn't even look like we will get a top 2 pick, which would be a large failure when this roster was seemingly built to lose. The only positives talked about after games are how we didn't give up, which is kind of like applauding the team for their pants not falling down after they ran out of the tunnel. The bar for this season was so ridiculously low, and it doesn't even look like they are going to reach it. I mean, we have appreciation posts on here for a defense that is 31st in the league in points allowed. We all have tried our best to keep expectations low.

I really don't see any difference between this team and terrible Cardinal teams of the past. If this was truly all part of Monti's plan, I have serious concerns.
 

Stout

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I expected a clown show of a season. Monti set us up for that, for the tank, and that's what's happening. So the losses aren't a bad thing for me. I was prepared for them and willing to suck it up for a season. I won't get into my problems with him for next season--not the topic at hand. I was hoping we'd give a lot of kids developmental time. This has happened, although McBride sitting behind the rotting corpse of Ertz was mega dumb. The culture change appears to be happening, which is good, but the coaching isn't really on point as far as penalties, discipline, etc. That and Kyler's seeming lack of any kind of meaningful change are problematic for me, especially with a team bereft of talent heading into the offseason--purposefully so, it appears.
 

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