Like all good teams, the Arizona Cardinals have made their own luck so far this year, but the embattled team could certainly use some good fortune heading into a Week 6 matchup against the Washington Redskins.
Amidst a flurry of injuries and suspensions the Cardinals have overcome adversity and are off to a 3-1 start on the 2014 campaign. Included in that start is a win against arguably the best team in the NFL right now, the San Diego Chargers and going toe-to-toe with the Denver Broncos into the fourth quarter – despite being down to a third-string quarterback.
Now, Arizona must persevere and win the games that they are expected to win. This week’s contest against the Redskins could be a bit tricky as Washington boasts a fairly explosive passing attack – an area where the Cardinals have struggled this year. Not to mention there’s a chance rookie QB Logan Thomas winds up starting under center.
Arians has been through something like this before during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger was suspended and Charlie Batch got injured, leaving Dennis Dixon – who was signed earlier this week by Arizona – leading the Steelers offense back in 2010.
“You draw on those past experiences with this situation,” Arians said on Wednesday. “It’s not as difficult as it seems, you just have to tailor it to the guy and make sure he’s comfortable,” he added.
Given the resiliency Arizona has already shown this year, it won’t be a surprise if they continue to beat the odds. Arians has instilled a winning mentality in the desert and frankly it doesn’t matter who’s in or out. The players who are on the field are expected to perform and ultimately win games.
“We got a lot of guys in this locker room, there’s a lot of talent in here,” said OT Bobby Massie. “If somebody goes down the next man has got to step up and fill his shoes.”
Arians reiterated that same mentality in regards to the to the quarterback position this week.
“We’ll formulate a game plan to beat Washington and then see what quarterback is available to do what he does best,” Arians explained. “We feel like (Palmer or Stanton) will be back. If not obviously we have to move on to door number two,” he added.
That said, the Cardinals sure could use a little luck on their side. Whether it’s Carson Palmer finally returning or a few lucky bounces during the game, any good fortune would be a welcomed addition for a beat up Arizona squad looking to keep pace in a tight NFC West division race.
Speaking of the NFC West, both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are making a strong push to retake control of the division. Seattle (3-1) is currently tied with Arizona (3-1) at the top with San Francisco (3-2) just a half game back.
The Cardinals have a winnable two-game stretch starting with Washington and then hitting the road to battle a winless Oakland Raiders team. Winning in the NFL, however, isn’t easy – particularly without your starting quarterback. Losing a game that should be won could easily cost Arizona a chance to win the NFC West and perhaps even making the playoffs.
The Cardinals are far too familiar with this scenario after finishing 10-6 a year ago, yet still missing the postseason.
Arizona Cardinals could use some good fortune
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