Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) December 24, 2014
Marshall Faulk asks a summary question for the year: Did your team have a Professional Grade season? If not, what will it take to get there next year?
Despite the late-season struggles after so many injuries, the answer is clear. Yes, the Arizona Cardinals had a Professional Grade season.
They will finish with at least 11 wins, in the postseason and still with the slightest of chances they end up the NFC West champs, with a first round playoff bye and even perhaps the number one seed in the NFC.
And they did it while starting three different quarterbacks.
They lost Darnell Dockett before the season. They lost John Abraham after one game. They lost Carson Palmer. They lost Andre Ellington. They lost Dave Zastudil. They lost both performance and leadership. Yet "Next Man Up" became a reality. John Brown and Jaron Brown stepped up. Kerwynn Williams played well when given a chance. Ed Stinson, Tommy Kelly, Frostee Rucker and Alex Okafor made big contributions.
Could things have been better? Yes. They led the division from all season from Week 1 until Week 16, and it looks like they will not regain the lead.
In the end, you cannot say this season was anything but Professional Grade.