The Arizona Cardinals are starting over. General manager Steve Keim stepped down and was replaced by Monti Ossenfort, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired and replaced by former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The 2023 season will feel very different, especially considering quarterback Kyler Murray may miss some time after tearing his ACL in Week 14.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Cardinals are tied in having the longest odds to win Super Bowl LVIII (+20000) and have the lowest listed Over/Under win total (5.0). Many believe Arizona will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this upcoming season. But to Cardinals running back James Conner, that's absolutely fine. In fact, it excites him.
"Nobody believes in us, but that's OK," Conner said, via The Athletic. "That's the exciting part. To prove people wrong."
The Cardinals have missed the playoffs in six out of the last seven seasons. It appeared they turned the corner in 2021 after starting the year 7-0, but Arizona has gone 8-19 since then. The Cards' 4-13 record in 2022 marked the worst by a playoff team from the previous season since the 2017 New York Giants, and those 13 losses tied for the most in franchise history.
Work needs to be done on both sides of the ball, but the Cardinals brought in Gannon with the defense in mind. Arizona allowed 26.4 points per game in 2022 (No. 31 in the NFL), and 348.9 total yards per game (No. 21 in the NFL). The offense was not much better, as the Cardinals averaged 20.0 points per game, which ranked No. 21 in the NFL.
The Cardinals may appear to be rebuilding, but Conner doesn't see it that way.