Can the 2019 Arizona Cardinals win more than three games? This team is coming off an absolutely horrendous 2018 campaign winning just three games. I’ll just remind you that two of those wins were against the San Francisco 49ers, and a 3 point victory over the Green Bay Packers. This team left the fans hopeless, and just reminded them once again of how it feels to be an Arizona sports fan.
This team from the very start of the season had some unanswered questions starting with the QB position. The Cardinals had drafted Josh Rosen out of UCLA to try and fix their long term goal at QB, but we all know how long that lasted. They also had a guy named Sam Bradford who had his ups and downs as an NFL quarterback. They let Bradford start the season which was expected right out of the gate because of the experience he had previously as a starter. It didn’t last long before the fans were begging to see Rosen. The Cardinals were blown out in their first two games of the season starting 0-2. Week 3 against the Chicago Bears, Bradford had once again gotten the start taking them into the half with their first lead of the season up 14-3. Reality had kicked in as Bradford had started the 3rd quarter with two interceptions, and allowing the Bears to pull within one. It had finally come to the point where Cardinals fans had started to chant “We want Rosen” and booed every time Bradford threw the ball. With about eight minutes remaining in the 4th quarter former head coach, Steven Wilks, had believed he had seen enough out of Bradford and benched him. It was Rosen’s time to shine.
Rosen had stepped onto the field up one. He started the drive hot as he completed four out of his first six passing attempts. On his 7th pass, the tides turned and he had thrown his first career interception with three minutes remaining. The Chicago Bears capitalized and won 16-14 on a game-winning field goal that had put the Cardinals at 0-3 on the year. Josh Rosen in week four had officially taken over as the team’s starter, but unfortunately, that didn’t mean much for the Cardinals and their fans as they watched him struggle week in and week out as he had won three games and lost 10. Heading into the final few games of the season, fans and media were begging for changes and answers on what was going on. Was the QB they just drafted a bust? Was the team just that bad? Where was the leadership at? Who’s to blame?
Well, here’s where Cardinals fans can get a little excited. The 2019 offseason started off with a bang the Cardinals wasted no time as the first step of precaution as they immediately fire Steve Wilks. After Wilks was relieved of his duties in Arizona they brought in former USC offensive coordinator and Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He’s known to be an outstanding leader, and is very knowledgeable on quarterbacks as he previously coached the Kansas City Chiefs new star Patrick Mahomes, who came into his second season and threw for 50+ TD’s and brought his team to the AFC Championship, and other NFL starters such as Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield, and Johnny Manziel.
The next step was going to be in the 2019 NFL draft. The biggest question was once again at QB. Do they keep Rosen or do they trade Rosen? With the #1 pick in the draft, the team had options. Those questions were quickly answered as the Cardinals had shipped Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick which the team used to draft WR Andy Isabella and a 5th round 2020 pick. This guaranteed that the Cardinals had a plan all along. Cardinals fans have not been this excited for a quarterback in a long time. With the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, they selected Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. Cardinals fans have been very optimistic, although they must be realistic as well. It’s another rookie QB who needs time to adjust into the NFL and show us what he’s got. I believe the Cardinals had a very strong draft addressing a lot of the needs especially on defense, and the depth at WR as this may be the last year we see Larry Fitzgerald in any type of NFL jersey ever again. You also have a very solid RB in David Johnson who’s going to put up yards and score touchdowns. On the other side of the ball was one of the worst defenses in the NFL to start the season, and gradually got better as the season progressed. They added cornerback Byron Murphy to help out Patrick Peterson and give them more depth on that side of the ball.
Overall on the entire side of the 2019 offseason, I give the Cardinals a B+ and do not believe this team can do any worse than last year. Although this is a tough division, and they have a lot to prove, they’ll win more than three games. I’ll give them 6-10 on the 2019 campaign with room to improve. This team does have a bright future, and it will be exciting to see how this all plays out.