Week 16 NFL rewind:

Cardinals credit success to surviving recent failure

The SportsXchange

The Cardinals have a considerable number of mistakes to correct in a short amount of time.

But with a 4-0 record, they will be whistling while they work.

They didn't play especially well in a 24-21 overtime victory over the Dolphins on Sunday, but they were resilient.

That's been their personality for almost a year now. They are 5-0 in overtimes over the last two seasons and have won eight consecutive home games. All but one has been close.

The Cardinals believe they are going to win close games, even when things look bleak.

"I think it starts with the right guys," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "You have to have the right mix of leadership and talent, but if you work hard enough and you get the right guys, then some guys are going to make plays.

"It doesn't have to be just one guy. Somebody can step up and make a play. But there's no question chemistry is a big part of it, and we started to develop that last year over that stretch."

Oddly, the Cardinals trace their recent success to a time of utter failure. They lost six of their first seven a year ago, but the team didn't fracture. And it won seven of the last nine.

"There's no question that when you lose six in a row and you are 1-6 and everybody is telling you how awful you are, that you have to work hard to get out of it," Whisenhunt said. "And our guys did that. I think that went a long way in fostering our belief in team and our belief in each other."
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