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Coaching decisions and Week 3 contrasts: Cardinals’ Gannon vs. Broncos’ Payton

Sep 24, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon celebrates with players after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In the early stages of the 2023 NFL offseason, the football world was abuzz with speculation surrounding the future of Hall of Fame coach Sean Payton.

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All eyes were on the possibility of him heading to Arizona. However, despite the buzz, Sean Payton chose the Denver Broncos, which forced the Cardinals to go in a different direction.

Coming off a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, Jonathan Gannon stayed in Arizona to meet with Michael Bidwill the morning after.

Quickly following the interview, he was hired on as the new head coach, which immediately sent a wave of criticism throughout social media directed towards the Cardinals decision.

Fast forward to the end of Week 3, and it seems Monti Ossenfort and Michael Bidwill indeed made the right decision.

The Denver Broncos, under Sean Payton’s guidance, have started this season 0-3 and were just completely embarrassed by the Miami Dolphis in a 70-20 loss.

If not for the Dolphins taking a knee in the fourth quarter instead of attempting a field goal, Denver’s defense would have allowed the most single-game points in NFL history.

On the flip side, despite entering as massive underdogs against the Cowboys (+750), the Cardinals took down Dallas with a 28-16 win.

This win not only proved that the Cardinals were not in a rebuilding phase but also highlighted the infectious energy brought by their new head coach, Jonathan Gannon.

At the final whistle, the stark contrast between the two sidelines couldn’t have been more evident. Jonathan Gannon, drenched in Gatorade and surrounded by jubilant players, highlighted a new era of Cardinals’ football.

Meanwhile, on the Broncos’ sideline, Sean Payton had the unenviable task of explaining the disastrous turn of events that would undoubtedly be etched in the history books.

Time will tell if this choice leads to more success, but for now, the Cardinals can take comfort in the possibility that they dodged a bullet by not pursuing Sean Payton.

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