A hilarious MADtv skit from about a decade ago featured Bob Newhart as an abrasive psychiatrist. His key to "curing" his patients was to shout these two words at them: STOP IT!
A few Arizona Cardinals fans (and you know who you are) have begun to worry about the upcoming season after the team's 0-2 preseason start. Here are three reasons why those fans would be well served to follow Mr. Newhart's advice.
1. The Cards did this last year, too.
How soon we forget that the Cardinals opened preseason play 0-2 last year, as well -- and both of those games were at home. They fell to the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers on consecutive weekends in Glendale, failing to crack 20 points in either contest.
You know the rest: The Cards went on to go 13-3 in the regular season, the best mark in the franchise's 86-year history.
As Mark Dalton, Cardinals vice president of media relations noted: Since 2014, the Cardinals have gone 3-7 in preseason play and 24-8 in the regular season. (Fittingly, 24-8 was also the Arizona Diamondbacks' 2016 Spring Training record, which proves that preseason records really doesn't matter, regardless of the sport.)
2. Remember the 0-16 Detroit Lions?
If you need further proof that preseason records don't matter, look no further than this: In 2008, the Detroit Lions became the NFL's first team to not record a single win during a 16-game regular season. Want to venture a guess as to what their preseason mark was? That's right: It was an unblemished 4-0.
One year earlier, the New England Patriots became the first-ever team to enjoy a perfect 16-0 regular season. They opened the preseason by losing both of their first two games.
Repeat after me: Preseason. Records. Mean. Nothing.
3. The starters should be fine (and healthy) when the real games begin.
Perhaps the best reason of all to avoid panic: Starters don't play much during the preseason. On average, first-team players see maybe a quarter's worth of action per game; it's the second-, third- and fourth-stringers who see the bulk of playing time as coaches decide to keep and who to cut before the regular season begins.
"Yes, but some of our starters haven't looked so good," you say. Just remember these words of wisdom from former NFL and ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter.
Fans & media make 2 much of the preseason. Its a time 4 evaluating, mixing up the lineup, repping plays that may b new & no game plan. Relax
— Rudy Carpenter (@rudygcarp12) August 20, 2016
That Carson Palmer interception against San Diego? Yeah, it looked bad, but remember: The Cardinals and Chargers practiced against each other twice before that game and came to know each other fairly well. And let's not forget the Cards were missing two of their two three wide receivers Friday (Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown) due to lingering injuries. Both are expected to be fine.
As for the first-team defense? They looked fantastic in limited action Friday: Chandler Jones made a tackle for loss, Calais Campbell forced a bad pass by getting pressure on the quarterback, and even rookie Brandon Williams made some strides by batting away a pair of passes in the first half.
Also, remember the Cards are missing some key starters on defense, including safety Tyrann Mathieu, who are nearly recovered from injuries and will practice this week. Just another reason why panicking Cards fans should remember these two words: STOP IT!