It’s very much looking like the Arizona Cardinals are in for a rough 2023-2024 season. As of now, we don’t know when Kyler Murray will return from an ACL injury. Consequently, we will be seeing Colt McCoy under center for the 1st half of the season and maybe more. The Cardinals also released star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. This wasn’t a huge surprise but Arizona is now lacking true playmakers on offense. Is there hope for the Cardinals going forward? Let’s break down their roster and predict their record for the 2023-2024 season.
James Conner has found new life in the desert. The former Pittsburgh Steeler signed a one-year deal in 2021 with the Cardinals and it was a gamble on his part. There were questions on whether he could carry the full load and be the lead running back. The gamble paid off as Conner showed he is more than capable of being a three-down back in this system. He will now be relied on more than ever with Kyler Murray out for the foreseeable future. Expect the Cardinals to feed him early and often, especially in the beginning of the season.
The Cardinals offensive line desperately needed help and they turned to the 2023 NFL Draft to solidify it. Arizona drafted LG Paris Johnson Jr. from Ohio State and he will be a day-one starter. Johnson Jr. is an athletic, versatile lineman that could eventually be a Pro Bowl caliber player. It starts in the trenches and although the Cardinals o-line has a ways to go they should be improved in 2023.
Offense wins championships. This is the reality of the NFL in 2023. Sure you can have a stout defense and be successful but if you want to reach the pinnacle you have to have an elite offense. This is why it was a bit of a head-scratcher when the Cardinals decided to hire Jonathan Gannon as their head coach. Don’t get me wrong, Gannon is an excellent young coach who helped take the Eagles defense to the next level but is this the right fit? There were plenty of young offensive minds available for the Cardinals to hire but they decided to go with Gannon. If you look at the most successful teams in the league today most have offensive minded head coaches.
As we stated before the Cardinals have a roster that is devoid of playmakers. Marquise Brown is a solid wide receiver but can he really be a #1? Zach Ertz has always been a reliable pass catcher but health has been a factor for him in recent years. Outside of James Conner, the Cardinals don’t really have a player you have to game plan for.
As expected this will be a tough season for Arizona Cardinals fans. When you look at their 2023 NFL schedule it’s hard to find wins in there. I do see wins at home against the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams along with a road victory at the Houston Texans. The Cardinals will once again be picking at the top of the draft in 2024.
2023 Record: 3-14