Cardinals viewed as one of NFL teams on right track for 2021

Jess Root
·2 min read

The Arizona Cardinals’ season in 2020 was a mix of hopeful, promising and disappointing, as they began the season with competitive aspirations, got off to a great start and then sputtered to the end and missed the playoffs.

However, in ESPN’s recent article about overhauling teams and how they will look like 2021, the Cardinals are one of two teams named as being mostly on the right track.

The Cardinals’ postseason meetings should address why a 6-3 season fell apart. Kliff Kingsbury suffered a few growing pains when trying to close out games, and the vertical passing game was uneven despite moments of brilliance from Kyler Murray.

Most of the Cardinals’ issues are not talent-based, though. The franchise jumped from holding the No. 1 pick to the cusp of the playoffs in two years, and Kingsbury deserves some credit for that. This is a roster that can win big next year. The offense averaged 385 yards per game, and the defense played at a respectable level, despite the need for an extra pass-rusher and more secondary help.

Success hinges largely on Kingsbury, Murray and GM Steve Keim making a leap in their third year together.

They are on the right track. Kyler Murray improved. They added Hopkins. Budda Baker became a star. The offense and defense improved. They need to address a few areas but, looking at the big picture, they did what most hoped they would do in 2020.

They do have to stay on track. They have some big free agent questions without a lot of cap space.

2021 will be critical to the future of Kingsbury and Keim. If they do not see progress, it will be hard to believe they are the answer for the team.

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