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Cardinals face horror season, Tampa Bay promising

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7. August 2023

The Arizona Cardinals continue to face a shambles, hope not in sight. Tampa Bay has to figure out who they are without Tom Brady.

Arizona Cardinals

Strenghts

The most important news for Arizona is that Kyler Murray is back. After tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, the quarterback is fighting his way back bit by bit, and the first videos of Krafttaining were released in April. In the draft, they were able to acquire Paris Johnson Jr., a capable offensive tackle, and they also picked up the Texans’ 2024 first-round pick. Also promising is the new head coach, Jonathan Gannon. The former Eagles defensive coordinator led his 2022-23 team to the Super Bowl.

Weaknesses

What was that about DeAndre Hopkins, please? Instead of making a salary cut or finding a suitable buyer, the star receiver was fired in June, resulting in a lost cap hit of more than $20 million. There really isn’t much else good to report from the offseason. Defensive lineman Zach Allen and cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. are gone, both of whom could have been important pillars in the franchise’s future. I wonder if Murray will be part of that “brighter” future. The 26-year-old continues to show flashes of brilliance, but his injuries keep setting him back in the process. Murray urgently needs to get better in deep passes, and fans almost never got to see big plays either.

Motto of the season: Gloomy times in Arizona. The franchise can really only hope for 2024 and pray that Murray stays fit until then and continues to develop for that long.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Strenghts

Left tackle Donovan Smith was released after a poor season, and many others have left the franchise. Leonard Fournette, Mike Edwards and Scotty Miller, among others, are history. But in the offseason, the front office was very busy, bringing seasoned football pros like Chase Edmonds to Tampa, rebuilding both the offense and defense. Exciting talent also came in for the pass rush, plus the Buccs signed a new OC from the Seahawks and the running game will be taken care of by Skip Peete from now on. Behind Chris Godwin and Chris Evans, several young players are dueling it out in the receiving corps – a comfortable situation for Todd Bowles.

Weaknesses

Things haven’t really been going well for Baker Mayfield since 2020. First he lost the starting position with the Browns, then last season he was moved around. His turnover rate is too high, a problem that has haunted him for years. Still, things could work out again for the former first-round pick in Tampa, where he has several top-notch weapons in receiver duo Chris Godwin and Chris Evans, as well as tight end Cade Otton.

Motto of the season: Tampa Bay has never been a “one man show.” Even without Brady, this team has everything it takes to at least make the playoffs.

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