It’s not in Cardinals coach Steve Wilks nature to throw a pity party for himself, but perhaps he can find solace in knowing that he is not alone in his misery.
Teams with new head coaches, including the Cardinals, were 0-7 in Week 1. That’s the the worst record by a group of new head coaches in NFL history, according to the league. The previous worst was 0-6 in 2001.
Wilks was joined by Jon Gruden (Raiders), Frank Reich (Colts), Mike Vrabel (Titans), Matt Nagy (Bears), Pat Shurmur (Giants) and Matt Patricia (Lions).
Cardinals hampered on both sides by ‘trying to do too much’
Perhaps Wilks can also find comfort that new Cardinals coaches haven’t fared well in their debuts either. The last time the Cardinals won their first game under a new head coach was 1979 when Larry Wilson took over for Bud Wilkinson with three games left in the season (Wilson was smart and got out of the coaching business with a 2-1 record).
Since then, Jim Hanifan, Gene Stallings, Joe Bugel, Buddy Ryan, Vince Tobin, Dave McGinnis, Dennis Green, Ken Whisenhunt, Bruce Arians and Wilks lost in their debuts.
What we learned in the Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Washington Redskins
It shouldn’t be a shock that teams with new coaches struggled in week one. In general, teams make coaching changes because the previous few seasons didn’t go so well.
As bad as the Cardinals looked in their 24-6 loss to Washington, other first-year coaches had it worse in week one. The Lions lost by 31 points to the Jets, and the Rams beat the Raiders by 20.
None of the first-year coaches face each other in week two, so it’s possible the winless streak could continue.