Having worked at a pharmacy for 5 years before setting out on my journey to become a hack, amateur writer, I learned a few things about bipolar disorder. (Note, this is not to make light of serious illness whatsoever)
From what I have seen of the Arizona Cardinals this season, they qualify as a team suffering from just that.
From laying an egg in week one against the now fledgling San Francisco 49ers, to the bed wetting on national TV in week three to the still undefeated Indianapolis Colts, to the utter shellacking they received at the hands of a down, but not yet out Carolina Panthers, this team has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster at Six Flags.
Those defeats can all be quantified and understood as the depression episodes in this diagnosis. But, somehow, these losses were all understandable to most NFL fans. I mean this is the Arizona Cardinals we are talking about. A team with no real idea of a winning tradition or how to sustain success. They were a walking joke last year up until they went to the Super Bowl.
Those lows are not just lows, but some of them were downright embarrassing.
The loss to San Francisco was on the day they raised the banner for winning the NFC Championship the year before.
The Colts game? That was supposed to show the country that they were for real, and should not be considered a one year wonder.
The Panthers game? I don't know how to even quantify that loss other than to say that looked more like the Cardinals of 2001 than the Cardinals of 2009.
Yet, for all the lows, there have been more highs.
A thorough drubbing of the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle, where the Cardinals just do not win.
A franchise altering win, on the road, against what was thought to be at the time, the second best team in the NFC against the New York Giants.
Then Sunday November 8, 2009 occurred. The Arizona Cardinals, beat the Chicago Bears.
Now they didn't just beat the Bears, they made them look like a bottom tier team in the NFL.
If you asked me if the Cardinals were going to win that game, I would have said yes, I could see them pulling a win out in Chicago. If you asked me would I be upset with a close loss on the road? I would have said no, as long as they played like they deserved to be on the field.
If you would have told me that Kurt Warner would throw 5 touchdowns and the running game would come alive and the Cards would win by 20 points I would have laughed at you.
Looking back through the season, I can tell you, with certainty my diagnosis of this team and what they need to remedy them.
They need Kurt Warner to play like a Pro Bowl quarterback, and not the 38 year old, coming off hip surgery.
This team goes as far as their bipolar quarterback. Just look at the difference in his numbers from the losses to the wins.
v San Francisco- 288 yards 1TD 2INT
v Indianapolis- 332 yards 1TD 2INT
v Carolina- 242 yards 2TD 5INT
Total- 862 yards 4TD 9INT
Compare that to the wins:
1313 yards 12TD 2INT
What do those numbers tell you? That when Kurt Warner is good, the Cardinals are hard to beat.
What else do those numbers tell you? This team is an extension of their quarterback, more so than most teams in the NFL.
As long as Kurt Warner stays healthy and upright, the Cardinals are a top team in the NFC.
Also, don't let those lows get you too low, because with this team, their will be a high right around the corner.