Hope is what Arizona Cardinals feel with an offseason of change. There is a new general manager and head coach, a new quarterback and a slew of new players. There is chatter among fans of competing in the division and even winning (at least those that are the most optimistic).
But there is still no respect from national media.
Take Pro Football Talk. They are listing their preseason "power rankings," and where do they think the Cardinals merit to be placed? As the 29th best team (fourth worst) in the league.
They note the improvement at quarterback with the trade for Carson Palmer, praise the quality of wide receivers at the top of the depth chart and also believe that the defensive line and linebacking corp are both very good.
However, the combination of the uncertainty in the running game, the loss of Adrian Wilson and the fact that the offensive line is still unproven in performance, combined with the fact that every other team in the NFC West is considered stronger than a season ago, mean that Arizona will languish again at the bottom.
Is this surprising? Not at all. The Cardinals have had terrible losing streaks for three straight seasons. The media does not believe in Carson Palmer for the most part. The team has a history of losing. Why would anyone pick them to be even decent?
You could look at this next season very optimistically. It is equally easy to look at the team in the same light as PFT. Being the fourth worst team is actually very much on the table. That would mean, though, that everything bad that could happen, does.
I have said more than once that this team could be as bad as 5-11 and as good as 11-5. Both extremes mean that things go to the extreme. I think they will be competing for a playoff spot.
But should we expect much love when there are two bona fide championship contenders already in the NFC West? Nope.
The Cards need to earn respect before they get it.
They may well get it this year.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
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- Comparing the Arizona Cardinals OGs with the Rest of the NFC West
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers to wear throwback uniforms vs. Arizona Cardinals
- Larry Fitzgerald moves Arizona Cardinals camp to Minnesota
- 7/10 Arizona Cardinals news: Housler gettin' some love, Cardinals offensive schemes
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