Now that the Cardinals have stumbled their way to an 3-5 start (on a 3 game losing skid, too), it's time to look at what's to come in the future. Ultimately, the good news is this: Arizona is playing hard. Not necessarily smart football, but their drive is in the right place. Now it's time for Whisenhunt and Co. to channel that energy in the right way, something that should lead to success.
It's not that the Cardinals aren't talented, but injuries have set the team back. The team seems to be stuck in "mediocre"-mode, and that's not good enough to win games on a consistent basis. It especially hurts that the running game has suffered and Kurt Warner's great season has faded since his injury earlier this season. Of course, a lot of that stems from the offensive line slipping a little bit.
Here's the interesting thing, though; only once this season has the team been blown out. In 3 of the other 4 losses, the margin was within 3 points and the 4th was still a one-score game. That's definitely good news because the Cardinals really are only a few plays from 5-3 record or better.
That gives fans hope, or at least it should. The Cardinals aren't a bad team. Rather, they're an above-average team that has made mistakes better teams wouldn't. The second half of the season should be interesting, no doubt about that. Whisenhunt will be tested in how he deals with the fans and media (so far, so good) and the team will be tested in how it deals with the pressures associated with working toward a division title.
It isn't hard to imagine a 6-2 finish down the stretch, given the schedule. And that might just be enough to win the NFC West, a division undergoing a lot of changes with no real dominant team. Let's hope Arizona rises to the occasion and seizes the moment.
How will the Cardinals (3-5) finish?
This poll is closed
10-6 or better
6-10 or worse