The Patriots basically ruined Arizona's 2016 season
USA Today Sports
If it wasn't obvious before that the Patriots are in everyone's heads, it should be now.
New England opened the 2016 season on the road against an Arizona Cardinals team that many believed would be squaring off with the Pats in February. Bill Belichick and company came into that game short-handed, as Jimmy Garoppolo was in at quarterback for the suspended Tom Brady.
Because Brady was out, a lot of people wrote the Patriots off (I'm guilty of this as well), and once again, those people were wrong. The Patriots, behind an impressive performance all around, beat the Cardinals 23-21 and went on the win the Super Bowl.
As for the Cardinals, they finished 7-8-1 in an NFC West that was there for the taking. The Rams and 49ers were both pretty weak and the Seahawks were up and down all year. So what happened?
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians says the Cardinals fell into a dark abyss thanks to the almighty Pats.
“I think the biggest reason was losing the opener on Sunday Night Football to the Patriots on that missed field goal,” Arians said. “That took a lot of swagger out of our football team, then we came back and lost to the Rams in another close game. We didn’t win the close games we had won in the past but it all goes back to that first one.”
If he really believes what he says, then that speaks to the mental toughness of the Cardinals. The Patriots have been on the other side of crushing defeats and have never let it get them down to the point where it totally derails what has the makings of a special season.
If the Cardinals were fighting for a playoff spot and this happened in the latter half of the season, I'd be more sympathetic. But this is the kind of excuse losers make.
Luckily for the Cardinals, they won't have to see the Patriots for another couple of years unless they were to reach the Super...eh...never mind. The minute they learn they'd have to play the Pats, they'd probably shit themselves and wouldn't show up.