2009 in Tampa Bay, Florida may as well be an eternity ago.
As we kick off the new decade, the Arizona Cardinals will enter it as the only team from the NFC West not to participate in a Super Bowl.
After the San Francisco 49ers punched their second ticket of the decade, the Cardinals sit alone as the only team from the division to not participate in a Super Bowl.
Now, they were close once, getting blown out four years ago by the Carolina Panthers, who seem to be moving into a new direction as well.
Yet, the one thing every other team showed over the last decade was the competency to get it right at least once.
To give themselves a shot in the big game one time.
The 49ers join the Seahawks as playing in two Super Bowls in this decade, although the 49ers have gone about it in a completely different way. The 49ers have Joe Staley left on the roster from their Super Bowl loss to the Ravens and have a new head coach and GM this time around. They built through years of awful teams getting them early picks, with two second overall picks (they traded to the third pick in 2017), a seventh overall and the ninth overall pick in the span of four years.
Combine that with savvy veteran free agents and a lot of scraps from other teams and you have a throw back to the early 2010’s 49ers with their play style.
The Seahawks rode a dominant defense and ascending quarterback to a Super Bowl victory in 2014 and a last second loss in 2015 before things start to turn. They were a bone-headed play call away from being back-to-back Super Bowl champions. They’ve languished a bit as a perennial playoff team, but they basically have a ticket to the dance every year. Woe is the Seahawks.
The Rams were awful in St. Louis, since 2007 when they won three games, until 2017 when they lost in the Wild Card round, the Rams had: 2nd overall pick, 2nd pick, 1st pick, 14th pick, 14th pick, 8th pick, 2nd pick and 10th pick before trading up in 2016 for Jared Goff with the first pick. Interestingly enough, Goff was the last first round pick the Rams will have made until 2022. Meaning they will go five full seasons without picking in the top 32 unless they make a trade.
Yet, despite all the woeful picks, the misses and the overall terrible structure of the franchise, they made the Super Bowl last year.
That’s five of the last ten Super Bowls with an NFC West participant.
The Arizona Cardinals need to find a way to make sure they are not shut out this decade.