This is not where anyone expected the Arizona Cardinals to be at Thanksgiving. Trailing in the division by three games, two games at least out of the Wild Card spot and in a weird, “this team really isn’t very good”, spot.
In fact, if I were to tell you in August that this team was going to be 4-5, with Carson Palmer not missing any significant time and having a top five defense in the NFL, no one would believe me.
Yet, here they are at 4-5-1 and in a position where the rest of 2016 looks bleak, yet they can still prove a lot. Here’s what I think they have to prove.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the reality is that this is who Carson Palmer the quarterback is.
Change that idea.
Show that 2015, part of 2013 and ‘14 is the real Carson Palmer, don’t allow the thoughts of Cincinnati Palmer or Oakland Palmer to be what the perception of Palmer is.
He has been established as one of the better players, not just running backs in the NFL. Let him become the focal point of this offense. Survive and adapt, that is what Bruce Arians and the offense needs to do.
The Wide Receivers
Anyone not named Larry Fitzgerald, please step up and show that you can be a wide receiver that Arizona can count on.
Don’t... Get... Palmer... Killed
Anyone not named Calais Campbell and Frostee Rucker show that you can a defensive lineman that Arizona can build around.
Kevin Minter, continue to earn that contract extension, Deone Bucannon, find your wild man ways from the year before. Be a destructive force again.
Marcus Cooper and Tharold Simon show you are worth a spot for the future, that you can be a cornerback on this team.
Tyrann Mathieu is back next year. Who else? Can you bring back Tayvon Branch, do you pay Tony Jefferson (you should)?
Prove you deserve to be in the NFL.
There is plenty for the Arizona Cardinals to prove the rest of the year. Wins of course would be great, but there is still plenty to prove.