It is an understatement to say the end to the season for the Arizona Cardinals was disappointing. It was awful. After the roll they went on late in the year, to see it end so poorly in Carolina was devastating for fans.
Even Bruce Arians has a hard time explaining it.
"I still can't figure out why we played so poorly," he said at the NFL Combine. "We were down 10 points, it felt like 50 on the sideline. We had never panicked all year."
Carson Palmer was at the center of it all, turning the ball over six times.
But Palmer is already preparing for next year, as well as enjoying the offseason with his newborn son.
He recently told reporter Kent Somers his finger did not need surgery, so there is no post-surgery recovery.
But Cardinals fans should feel hope with what Palmer is doing.
"This year he's already working like crazy because of the way (the season) ended," Arians said. "That's what you want. You want your guys back.
"When he's back working like that, the rest of them will be back working like that. As a coach, you don't have to say
anything. It's just get going again and see if we can reach that pinnacle again and play better."
We saw the results of how hard Palmer worked last offseason to come back from his knee injury. He had a career season, the best quarterback season in the history of the franchise. It also resulted in 13 wins, a playoff bye and a playoff win.
His work will motivate others. It will lead to production. It might not result in a title, but at least no one is hanging their head.
A motivated Palmer means a good Palmer, and a good Palmer means a good Cardinals team. 2016 should be fun.