Football Outsiders down on Arizona Cardinals turning season around

Sep 26, 2022, 6:05 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

Football Outsiders isn’t optimistic that the Arizona Cardinals will turn their season around after a 1-2 start.

While their one win came from an impressive road comeback, their two home losses have been less competitive than the final scores suggest.

In Football Outsiders‘ simulation through season’s end, the Cardinals’ mean win total was 6.4. That mark tied for the fewest wins in football. While they’re within 0.3 mean wins from passing four other teams, that hardly projects them anywhere near postseason contention, let alone making the Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium.

Moreover, Football Outsiders gives the Cardinals the third-best odds to obtain the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft (9.1%). While the Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans both have higher odds for No. 1, only the Texans are more likely to have a top-five pick.

The Cardinals are the NFL’s fourth-oldest roster, so getting younger through top-of-the-round talent wouldn’t be the worst thing for them.

However, they’d improved on their win total each of the previous four years — and made the postseason last year for the first time since 2015. During a window that should continue showing improvement, finishing with the top pick is a major step backward. Especially after signing general manager Steve Keim, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray to extensions this past offseason.

Time will tell if the Cardinals can turn their season around.

However, Football Outsiders ran a simulation 50,000 times to project what the final standings will look like.

Events through the first three weeks matter, as well as expected ones down the road. Those include Deshaun Watson’s return to the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ injury as well as DeAndre Hopkins’ return to the Cardinals.

The playoff odds report plays out the season 50,000 times. A random draw assigns each team a win or loss for each game. The probability that a team will be given a win is based on an equation which considers the mean projected DVOA ratings of the two teams as well as home-field advantage. Mean Wins is the average number of wins for this team over the 50,000 simulations. Odds are given for winning each playoff seed, as well as for winning the division (DIV) or winning a wild card (WC). TOT represents odds of making the playoffs in any fashion.

Mean Wins includes 0.5 wins for each tie.

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