A quarter of the season is in the books and the Arizona Cardinals are faced with an obstacle that probably was not expected, a brutal 1-3 start and last place in the west division. This was definitely unexpected, as the critics had the Cardinals in Houston in February predicted to hold up the Lombardi. That seems to be afar off after the events in the month of September. Super Bowl aspirations are in deep jeopardy and the team appears wheeling on a downward spiral that can become hard to get out of.
The football season comes and goes very fast and every season every team takes on its own identity as to what that team will be for the season. As the saying goes “you are what you are” and the record in wins and losses show a team who they truly are. So are the Cardinals the team predicted to win the Superbowl right now? And the answer is an obvious resounding no! but there may be hope to turn things around.
As of now, there is not one team in the league at the quarter mark of the season that is playing Championship caliber football yet. That is a process that grooms itself during the course of the year. The halfway point teams usually begin to separate themselves showing the true contenders or pretenders. But in that process, adversity is the one component that shapes both the contender and pretender. For the contender, it makes them headstrong and able to perform under great pressure, and the pretender will fold like a towel in a laundry room and shy away in the midst of pressure.
Football is still 80% mental and 40% physical and if that be the case, then the Arizona Cardinals at the quarter mark of the season have that equation backward. At times they are more physical and lose the mental side of things. Mental errors have been the story of this team so far this season. Out of 23 total excepted penalties, half of those were mental variety. That is not to mention the busted coverages, missed blocks, dropped passes, and interceptions that have aided in three losses.
Mental errors become habit forming they become contagious and began to trickle down from player to player and the cycle can be hard to break, in fact, it is the thin line between being a good team and a bad team. At 1-3 the Cardinals are a bad team, can that be rectified? That remains to be determined but how do you stop mental errors or mentally weakmindedness.
Does it require yelling and screaming by the head coach and leaders of the team? Does it require calling out those that are the repeat offenders publicly? Who knows, but one thing is for certain something needs to be done to shake up the house and cut off the cancers that are plaguing this team.
Radical change is done to break the mold of things, a trade a cutting of player or players or coaches. An example has to be sacrificed to get the attention of the entire franchise and in so many ways scare the troops into line.
Regardless if those changes take place or not, the Arizona Cardinals are a talented team loaded with weapons and still capable of exploding and running off wins. The season may not be over but there is no more room for error. The Cardinals need to go 3-1 for each of the remaining three quarters to finish at least 10-6, and perhaps that will be enough to make the playoff.
This team has accomplished a lot over the years and overcoming this adversity will form them into the team predicted to win it all.