In the NFL, there’s really no such thing as a bad win.
Teams have just 16 chances to earn them, meaning each opportunity to leave a game victorious is not to be taken for granted or apologized for.
So, while the Arizona Cardinals’ 13-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday was hardly pretty or memorable, it was, in fact, a win.
“We played poor for three-and-a-half quarters, and a lot of it, obviously, was self-inflicted,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “And I’m sure the fans are getting tired of hearing that, but when you go back and evaluate the tape, it really is.”
The Cardinals mustered just 296 yards of total offense in the game, but were penalized 10 times for 90 yards. They turned the ball over three times, and converted just one of 10 third-down opportunities. Quarterback Carson Palmer was picked off twice — once in the end zone — and Arizona’s running game once again failed to get going.
Yet, when the clock reached 0:00, it was the Cardinals on top, and an optimist would look at things and feel good about the team being able to win — on the road — even while playing poorly.
Still, Keim said he would like to see his team look better in wins.
“All these players are guys you’ve evaluated and you have expectations of, and when they don’t play well and they don’t live up to their expectations it’s extremely frustrating,” he said.
But again, a win is a win, and at 2-2 the Cardinals are in decent shape one quarter of the way through their schedule. They are a blown fourth-quarter lead in St. Louis away from being 3-1, but could also have been 1-3 had it not been for a fourth-quarter comeback against a winless team in Tampa.
“Style points weren’t so high [Sunday], but when you come back on a flight for four hours and you’ve got a W in your pocket, I think at the end of the day you’ll take it,” he said.