The Cardinals knew they were in for an uphill battle this season. Replacing Kurt Warner (an almost sure Hall of Famer) and other Prow Bowl talent on both sides of the ball is never easy. I don’t think, however, Ken Whisenhunt and the Arizona Cardinals expected to be 3-7, which is good for a last place tie in the division with six games left to play.
According to Whisenhunt, though, the Cardinals don’t think they’re as bad as their standing and record. Even still, Whisenhunt recognized that teams go through rough patches or even rough seasons, but it’s nothing permanent.
If you look around the league, you see (rough times) happen to other teams. It’s important right now how we fight through this. I really believe that we’re going to come out of it. We’re going to still have our opportunities to win divisions and go to playoff games and that’s what our focus is. Do I feel like we have eroded what we have built? I don’t feel that way. I don’t think you can look at our team over the last two years and what we have done in the playoffs and be ashamed about anything with that or feel like we’ve lost anything from that. If we have to go through some tough times to get back to that point, that’s what we have to do.
The tenor of Whisenhunt’s comments seems to be a defense of the progress that he’s made in Arizona since 2007. It can’t be argued that under Whisenhunt’s guidance the Cardinals have achieved unparalleled success. The only comparison that can be made is the St. Louis Cardinals teams of the mid 1970’s. Whisenhunt made it clear that when you achieve that level of success, it’s difficult to replicate on a yearly basis.
We’ve gone to a Super Bowl. We’ve played six playoff games and won four of them. I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m proud of the fact that we’ve done that. To think that we’re going to do that every year, even though we aspire to do that, that’s tough.
It a fair point, but it’s cold comfort to the everyday football fan that wants to tune in and watch their team win. It’s especially difficult when the team hasn’t won since Week 5. Losing the fans’ trust is a concern that Whisenhunt expressed as well.
I feel as disappointed as anything that we have let some of our fans down. That’s the thing that keeps me up at night because we have worked so hard to create such great support for our team. Certainly we feel that. But we still have a chance to, if we play good football, (have it) take care of itself.
Whisenhunt and the Cardinals have a chance to snap their brutal 5-game losing streak on the biggest stage that professional football has to offer, Monday Night Football. Just to spice up the pot, the game is against Arizona’s rival the past few seasons, the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners are also having a tough go of it this season as they are 3-7 and fresh off a 21-0 beating at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Even with a win against the 49ers in Week 12, the Cardinals will face extremely long odds in their playoff push, if there’s one coming. In addition, it’s difficult to honestly say that the Cardinals could take advantage of a weak schedule, which they have. Take a look.
- Week 12 – vs. San Francisco (3-7)
- Week 13 – vs. St. Louis (4-6)
- Week 14 – vs. Denver (3-7)
- Week 15 – @ Carolina (1-9)
- Week 16 – vs. Dallas (3-7)
- Week 17 – @ San Francisco (3-7)
The Cardinals’ opponents’ combined record is a lowly 17-43 for a .395 winning percentage. In addition, 4 of the last 6 games are at home. If Arizona is planning on making a late season playoff push, they couldn’t have asked for a more favorable schedule.