The Arizona Cardinals have their fair share of obstacles entering the 2023-24 NFL season. Many expect the Cardinals to be one of the NFL’s worst teams. As a result, Arizona is also a favorite to obtain a top draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Here are five bold predictions that have a shot of coming to fruition for the Cardinals this season.
5 Bold Predictions For the 2023 Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Gannon Is the First Head Coach Fired
Former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is the Cardinals new head coach following the departure of Kliff Kingsbury. According to Vegas, the Cardinals are underdogs in every game heading into the 2023-24 NFL season.
In addition, it will be even more difficult for them to win games at the start of the season as Arizona continues to wait for star quarterback Kyler Murray’s recovery from his ACL injury. It’s more likely than not the Cardinals start slow this season.
The NFL is notorious for having head coaches on short leashes. Gannon could be the first head coach gone this season.
Another Outside Quarterback Starts for Arizona Cardinals
Recently acquired quarterback Josh Dobbs is named the Cardinals starter for Week 1 against the Washington Commanders. His competition is Clayton Tune, selected No. 139 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Houston. There’s a chance neither Dobbs nor Tune are the short-term answers to fill in while Murray recovers from his ACL. If that’s the case, the Cardinals could elect to bring another outside quarterback to fill in as the starter.
Kyler Murray Doesn’t Play the Entire Season
Kyler Murray still has a murky return date following the ACL tear he suffered in Week 14 last year. Some expect Murray to come back around mid-season. However, many expect the Cardinals to lose many games this season. There’s a realistic possibility that the Cardinals are already out of playoff contention by the time Murray can return. Then, it makes little sense for them to have the former first-overall pick return for various reasons.
They could improve their 2024 NFL Draft standing by having someone other than Murray at the helm, and they also wouldn’t risk the chance of Murray suffering a re-injury.
Zach Ertz Is on Another Team
Zach Ertz has had a remarkable career that has gone under the radar. However, at age 32, Ertz still has a few seasons left in the tank, which shouldn’t go to waste with the Cardinals, seemingly set on rebuilding around next year’s draft. They should trade Ertz to a contending team and get whatever future assets they can in return, even if only a late-round draft pick.
Keaontay Ingram Rushes for Over 500 Yards
James Conner has recorded 13 games or less in four of his six seasons playing in the NFL. He could be in for the heaviest workload in his entire career now that Kyler Murray is out while still recovering from his torn ACL.
Cardinals new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, will rely on the ground game heavily. Arizona is an underdog entering every game in the NFL season, so their best bet could be to rely on pounding the ball to keep the clock running and lowering the number of overall possessions.
Keaontay Ingram has solidified his spot as the Cardinals No. 2 running back behind Conner following his offseason performance. He should be the Cardinals starting running back for multiple weeks if Conner’s injury history is any indication.
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