The best five year run in Arizona Cardinals history seems like a decade ago.
Now, the Arizona Cardinals get to face the man behind that five year run, as the team comes off their mini-bye to take on Bruce Arians and the 2-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While things have not gotten off to the start the Bucs wanted, the start does remind me a bit of Arians beginning in Arizona.
Especially the quarterback play.
After eight games the Bucs are 2-6.
After eight games in 2013 the Cardinals were 4-4 and their trade for Carson Palmer looked more like a flop than a player that would eventually end up in the Ring of Honor.
After eight games, Palmer’s stats read:
174/284 61.3% 1,913 yards 10 TDs 14 INTs 74.1 QB Rating
Palmer had been sacked 23 times and had fumbled three times. Things looked bleak.
Yet, the Cardinals turned it around, finished their final eight games going 6-2 and finished with a 10-6 record, but fell a bit short and did not make the playoffs.
Palmer turned it around in the second half of the season:
188/288 65.3% 2,361 yards 14 TDs 8 INTs 95.3 QB Rating
You look at the Bucs and their 2-6 record and it has been ugly.
Yet, when you look at the way Winston has played through his first eight games under Arians, he’s actually been a bit better than Palmer was and it has been the Todd Bowles defense that has cost the Bucs.
Winston through his first eight games under Arians:
182/307 59.2% 2,407 yards 16 TDs 12 INTs 85.2 QB Rating
Winston has been sacked 30 times and has fumbled and lost it seven times, so their turnovers were a bit equal, 17 for Palmer and 19 for Winston.
Palmer and Winston have a bit in common through their first four seasons as well, but there was one big difference, Palmer was winning more, even while being with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The question becomes, will Winston and the Bucs go on a similar run in the second half of the season under Arians? Will that garner Winston another contract with the Bucs or will he be another first round quarterback looking for a new home.
Arians definitely has a history of putting up big numbers with first round quarterbacks, but this season it seems like the Bucs defense stinks
Which could make Sunday’s game quite the shootout that we can enjoy with Kyler Murray at the helm for the Arizona Cardinals.