The Arizona Cardinals report to training camp in Glendale Thursday to get their 2013 season underway.
Coming off a disappointing 5-11 campaign and undergoing a major personnel overhaul in the offseason, one thing new head coach Bruce Arians’ team won’t be saddled with during camp is expectations.
Seemingly nobody is picking the Cardinals to do much of anything in 2013, especially considering the division they play in, the NFC West, features two of the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl in the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.
For instance, consider SI.com’s NFL Preseason Power Rankings, which were released Wednesday. Writer Chris Burke puts the Cardinals 30th in the initial poll, ahead of only the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders.
Carson Palmer makes this team better, as should new coach Bruce Arians. It’s still the worst squad in a division with a pair of Super Bowl favorites. Where are the Cardinals going to find wins? They could be 0-8 at their bye and no one would be stunned.
Wait, 0-8? In fact that would shock some, considering the Cardinals’ schedule starts off with five teams who finished under .500 in 2012 — and two of those games are at University of Phoenix Stadium.
It’s not a shock that Baltimore, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta are atop Burke’s first rankings.