Can the Arizona Cardinals rise to the top of the NFC West this season?
Can you say habit forming? Focusing on recently, it happened twice in 2017 and one of those teams won a Super Bowl. It also happened two more times in 2018. And while no NFL team rebounded from a last-place finish the prior season to a division title in 2019, it is worth pointing out that the San Francisco 49ers were a 4-12 team a year before finishing 13-3, winning the NFC West and reaching Super Bowl LIV in South Florida.
Big-time turnarounds have become somewhat regular in the National Football League. When it came to the aforementioned 2017 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles both won division crowns a year after finishing in the basement of the AFC South and NFC East, respectively. And Doug Pederson’s squad captured the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy after outlasting the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
The following year, Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears and Bill O’Brien’s Houston Texans went from the outhouse to the penthouse in the NFC North and AFC South, respectively.
So here is the first installment of another eight-part divisional series, this time taking a look at how each team that finished last in the respective division in 2019 could capture the top spot this year. The focus here is on the Arizona Cardinals, who won two more games than they did in 2019 when they finished a league-worst 3-13.
So can they bounce back this season and capture a very rugged NFC West? Here’s their path to winning the division.