I have a feeling the Arizona Cardinals are about to find out what their bird brothers from another mother have known for years: competing in a division with a couple of heavyweights trading haymakers is no fun.
The Baltimore Orioles won 98 games in 1997 and 93 games in 2012. In between they never won more than 79 games and won no more than 71 games in nine of those 14 years. Such is life when you share a division with a couple of superpowers in the Yankees and Red Sox.
After the Seahawks acquired Percy Harvin and the Niners picked up Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals might be in the same spot. The Cards share a division with two teams set at QB, loaded with skill players and possessing defenses that are among the best in the NFL. How can they keep up? Rashard Mendenhall? Drew Stanton?
It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try, but consider this: even if the Cardinals do everything perfect this offseason — in terms of free agency, the draft, who starts and who doesn’t — competing with Seattle and San Francisco just doesn’t seem possible at this point. St. Louis, with Jeff Fisher in command and draft picks at their disposal, only compounds the problem.
A pessimistic view to be sure, but it also gives the Cardinals a little more time to look at their issues through a long-term lens. I get that might not sound good to season ticket holders and it doesn’t jibe with the urgency of the NFL. But, given the undeniable reality of the NFC West, it might give the Cardinals some breathing room to address all their issues.