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What We Learned from the Cardinal’s Season Finale in LA

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that’s a wrap on the 100th NFL regular season. While things went more or less as expected this season, we learned some things along the way. However after 16 weeks of football, it’s hard to say there was anything new to pick up in the final week. But there’s some intrigue going into the offseason as draft season starts to pick up for the majority of the league.

Kyler Murray is a baller.

The box score won’t show it, but in a meaningless game where he probably should have been resting, K1 went out and did what he could do on a bad hammy to help his team. It’s nothing anyone is just now learning, but he deserves the shoutout. His competitiveness is admirable.

The Patrick Peterson conundrum

It may have taken longer than anyone expected for him to shake the rust off, but Peterson did just that over the final few games. The question is, what’s next? The nigh-perennial Pro Bowler has just one season left on his contract, and he says he wants to stay. Will Keim make PP21 a Cardinal’s lifer?

Dan Arnold = TE1?

Arnold put together one of the better statistical tight end performances in a Cards uni we’ve seen this decade. He’s shown some spark in the red zone, a much needed boon in an area this team has struggled in. Is this a flash in the pan, or do the Cardinals at long last have a reliable pass catcher at tight end?

Opposing Tight Ends = Also TE1

The defense closed out the year getting once again lit up by a tight end. It seemed like perhaps things had been buttoned up there in prior weeks, but after the last two it’s clear that defending that position is still a problem - unless the opposing team is suffering some injuries. It’s not looking like Vance Joseph is going anywhere, can he fix the problem in the offseason?

Big changes aren’t likely this offseason.

Look, I know a lot of you would like to see some changes, namely at GM and DC. Myself included. But odds are, what you see is what you’ve got for 2020. I could be wrong, but I’d be surprised if Bidwill and Kingsbury pull the trigger at those spots.

Some hard work is ahead for the ‘19 rookie class.

The #1 overall aside, things have not been ideal for this class. Byron Murphy has been a target for opposing offenses, Andy Isabella has largely been a non-factor, Zach Allen and Hakeem Butler will be coming off of injury and (in Butler’s case) significantly behind the 8 ball in his developmental process. Deionte Thompson and KeeSean Johnson once looked like day 3 gems, but have since seen their snaps dwindle, or in Johnson’s case, completely disappear.

While I’ve never been crazy about this class (With the exception of Butler), don’t think I’m by any means writing them all off. I’m simply acknowledging the unenviable amount of work cut out for them. Best of luck to these gentlemen as they head into the offseason and some well-deserved leisure, they’ve got bitter work ahead.