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To tank, or not to tank, that is the question...

A discussion of a situation that is weighting heavily on the minds of Cardinals’ fans

New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“To tank, or not to tank: that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous losses, or to take arms against a sea of NFC rivals and by opposing end them?”

The questions I have for Cardinals’ fans who would like to see the Cardinals play well, but somehow keep managing to lose, as they did in Weeks 1 and 2:

  • How can losing ever possibly help to change the culture and/or the national perception of a habitually inept and dysfunctional organization like the Arizona Cardinals’?
  • How can you ask a new coaching staff, the NFL’s youngest, to coach any other way but to coach their team how to finish strong enough to win games?
  • How can you ask the current Cardinals’ players to be sacrificial goats?
  • How can you feel ok about this knowing the players are hurting?
  • How can you mitigate the reality that ballers like James Conner and Dennis Gardeck are so completely sick and tired of losing and giving all they have to win?
  • How can you ask a young budding star like Paris Johnson Jr. to accept losing games when he is accustomed to winning?
  • In sum, how can you root for failure, of any kind?
  • How does continuing to lose at home amidst hoards of the opponents’ fans clad in their team's colors help the organization in its efforts to change local and national perceptions?
  • What does tanking say about the integrity of an organization and its leadership?

How would you answer some or all of these questions?

The allure of being able to draft Caleb Williams

Stanford v USC Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Look, I understand how tempting it is to want to see your favorite team have the chance to draft QB Caleb Williams.

But, how many of the NFL QBs who were drafted #1 overall have started and won Super Bowls with the team that drafted them?

  • Troy Aikman
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, John Elway and Jim Plunkett won Super Bowls, but were drafted by other teams (DET, LAC, BAL, NE respectively)

How many QBs over the past 10 years have won Super Bowls with the teams that drafted them?

  • KC —-Patrick Mahomes —- 2017 —- #10
  • NE —-Tom Brady —- 2006 —- #199
  • PHI —-Nick Foles —- 2012 —- #88 —- was traded and reacquired to be Carson Wentz’s backup
  • SEA —-Russell Wilson —- 2012, —- #75

How many #1 pick QBs have won a Super Bowl with defensive minded head coaches?

  • Terry Bradshaw

Current 2023 PFT NFL Power Rankings:

Where Current Top 10 Teams’ QBs Were Drafted and By Whom

  1. Dak Prescott —- DAL —- 2016 —- #135
  2. Brock Purdy —- SF —- 2022 —- #262
  3. Tua Tagovailoa —- MIA —- 2020 —- #5
  4. Jalen Hurts —- PHI —- 2020 —- #53
  5. Patrick Mahomes —- 2017 —- #10
  6. Lamar Jackson —- BAL —- #32
  7. Josh Allen —- BUF —- 2018 —- #7
  8. Trevor Lawrence —- JAC —- 2021 —-#1
  9. Zach Wilson —- NYJ —- 2021 —- #2
  10. Geno Smith —-NYJ —- 2013 —- #39

Current #1 pick QBs (team starters) —- Head Coaches:

  • Trevor Lawrence —- JAC —- Doug Pederson —- OFF
  • Jared Goff —- DET —- Dan Campbell —- OFF
  • Baker Mayfield —- TB —- Todd Bowles —- DEF
  • Joe Burrow —- CIN —- Zach Taylor —- OFF
  • Matthew Stafford —- LAR —- Sean McVay —- OFF
  • Bryce Young —- CAR —- Frank Reich —- OFF
  • Kyler Murray —- ARI —- Jonathan Gannon —- DEF

ROTB Question Poll:


If the Cardinals qualify for the #1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and wish to select QB Caleb Williams, would it behoove them to hire an offensive minded head coach?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Yes, put Caleb Williams in the best possible hands for years to come
    (33 votes)
  • 23%
    It depends on how the team performs under Jonathan Gannon and Drew Petzing this year
    (74 votes)
  • 61%
    No, keep JG, he deserves more time
    (193 votes)
  • 4%
    (15 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now


What the data provided here proves is that there are multiple avenues that NFL teams can take to create a path to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy amidst a waterfall of confetti.

There are some NFL teams that appear to be more crafty at creating the Super Bowl path more than others. Of course what the Chiefs have accomplished since Andy Reid arrived as head coach is the new golden standard.

Look at the creative ways they have approach their drafts. Look at the players, like Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ identified as players to build their team around. They just won their 2nd Super Bowl under Andy Reid’s watch while starting 6 rookie draft picks.

Inevitably, winning games is the best way to bolster a team’s culture. And that starts at the top, with the owner, the team president, the GM and the pro and college scouts. If the Cardinals can galvanize the efforts of the front office, then no matter where they are picking in the draft, they can identify the kinds of players who fit the culture the team is trying to build.

Imagine if...#1 vs Glendale this week...

To Tank? Or not to tank?

Take It Easy Power Hour Podcast:

Kyle “L’ll Rock” Ledbetter hosts “Joe the Pro” Comeau and me —- we discuss the topic of tanking in a very Cardinals’ specific fashion.

The Links:



Hope you enjoy the show.

You can add your voice to the discussion in the comments section below.