The National Football League has released the 2019 schedules for each of the league’s 32 teams. The Arizona Cardinals are middle of the pack in terms of strength of schedule. Arizona opponents have a .508 win percentage from 2018 but face just four playoff teams from last season. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has his work cut out for him. Today we take a quick, and early look at the schedule to determine the 2019 record for the Cardinals. We’re counting eggs, don’t be surprised if we break a few!
Week 1: Thursday, 8/8 @ 7:00PM MST
Will we see Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray starting? Either way, it’s the opening of the preseason so hopefully no injuries.
Week 2: Thursday, 8/15 @ 5:00PM MST
Another visit from Raider Nation is in order. While it’s just the preseason, expect an abundance Silver and Black.
Week 3: Saturday, 8/24 @ 10:00AM MST
An end of summer visit to Minneapolis. At least the stadium is nice to look at.
Week 4: Thursday, 8/29 @ 6:00PM MST
End of the roster battles are the saving grace. Again, hope for no injuries.
Week 1: 9/8 @ 1:25PM MST
Detroit Lions – Win, 1-0
Two years ago the Cardinals opened the 2017 season in Detroit. It was a microcosm of the season with David Johnson getting injured and the team unable to make a comeback. Will this be Kyler Murray’s first professional game or will Josh Rosen start his second season with his first week one start?
Week 2: 9/15 @ 10:00AM MST
Baltimore Ravens – Loss, 1-1
The first road game of the season allows Terrell Suggs the chance to haunt Baltimore. Can the Cardinals defense improve on their porous run defense from 2018? If they can’t, it will be a long Sunday against the Ravens.
Week 3: 9/22 @ 1:05PM MST
Carolina Panthers – Loss, 1-2
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is spending his offseason recovering from injuries. For the second week in a row, the Cardinals defense must face a potent ground game. This is also the week before the rival Seahawks come to town, could this go sideways quickly? Yes, definitely yes!
Week 4: 9/29 @ 1:05PM MST
Seattle Seahawks – Loss, 1-3
The team from the Pacific Northwest shows up. Red Sea, this is a simple request, please do not give up your seats for anyone supporting Seattle. Take some pride in this team and help rebuild the environment which made Arizona a tough team to play on the road. These teams play some tight games, if Kingsbury is really an upgrade, this is where it shows.
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Week 5: 10/06 @ 10:00AM MST
Cincinnati Bengals – Win, 2-3
An away game against a franchise which looks to be on the decline. Patrick Peterson will be shadowing Bengals’ receiver A.J. Green all game. The offense should be moving by this point.
Week 6: 10/13 @ 1:05PM MST
Atlanta Falcons – Win, 3-3
The battle of the birds for the second year in a row. Last year, the Falcons shrugged off an early blow by the Cardinals, en route to a blow-out victory. The Falcons are a confusing team and bounce between contenders and pretenders each week. A solid offensive showing for Arizona will be the difference.
Week 7: 10/20 @ 10:00AM MST
New York Giants – Loss, 3-4
If the Cardinals go with Kyler Murray, could Rosen find his way to New York and become the heir apparent to Eli Manning? If that is the case, karma could place Rosen in the starting line-up in time for visit to the desert. No OBJ definitely hurts the New York offense. Also a chance for Giants DC James Bettcher to get some revenge on his former employer.
Week 8: 10/27 @ 10:00AM MST
New Orleans Saints – Loss, 3-5
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When will Drew Brees retire? The Saints defense is average at best. New Orleans also may be playing with their hair on fire, hoping to get the championship they feel were robbed of last season. This is a tough task for a rookie head coach. Oh, and a Thursday night game follows this.
Week 9: 10/31 @ 5:20PM MST
San Francisco 49ers – Loss, 3-6
The Cardinals and 49ers play twice in three weeks. This is the first meeting. It’s a Thursday night game, the only prime time slot currently on the schedule for Arizona. The Cardinals swept the season series last year, but that was with C.J. Beathard at the helm. Did we mention it’s Halloween night?
Week 10: 11/10 @ 11:00AM MST
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Win, 4-6
Traveling to Florida is made easier by the extended rest afforded after the 49ers game. This is a special matchup as the Cardinals face off against their former head coach, Bruce Arians. Tampa Bay is hoping for a playoff push with Arians at the helm, and the former Cardinals head man will undoubtedly be looking for a big win.
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Week 11: 11/17 @ 2:05PM MST
San Francisco 49ers – Win, 5-6
Hey! It’s the 49ers again! This time the Cardinals travel to Santa Clara for their first road game within the division. The 49ers have been terrible against the Cardinals since Jim Harbaugh left for Michigan. Can Arizona continue the trend?
Week 12: BYE
A good break, a chance for the team to get ready for a tough final stretch.
Week 13: 12/01 @ 2:05PM MST
Los Angeles Rams – Win, 6-6
The first of three home games for the Cardinals. The first game of the season against the Rams. Also, the first of the final three home games of the season. Los Angeles will likely be fighting for a division crown at this point so the Cardinals will have their hands full. Sean McVay and Kingsbury battle it out to be on the next season of The Bachelor.
Week 14: 12/08 @ 2:25PM MST
Pittsburgh Steelers – Win, 7-6
No AB84 to contend with. Peterson could shadow Juju. If the Cardinals are truly a different team this season, they must protect home turf against a potential playoff contender. The key will be how effective is the Arizona offensive attack.
Week 15: 12/15 @ 2:05PM MST
Cleveland Browns – Loss, 7-7
If Kyler Murray is playing, and doing better than mediocre, this could be flexed to prime time on NBC. The offseason AFC North champions travel south to take on the Cardinals. Arizona hopes to resemble the post-Hue Jackson turnaround seen in Cleveland. This is their chance to see where they’re at. Not a bad end to the regular season home schedule.
Week 16: 12/22 @ 2:25PM MST
Seattle Seahawks – Loss, 7-8
The Cardinals nearly pulled off another shocking victory in Seattle last season. Regardless of who is under center for the Cardinals, playing in Seattle is one of the toughest tasks for even the most experienced of signal callers. This will be the first taste of CenturyLink Field for head coach Kliff Kingsbury. A win here could be the start of a turnaround for the Cardinals.
Week 17: 12/29 @ 2:25PM MST
Los Angeles Rams – Loss, 7-9
Arizona ends the season on the road once again. Depending on the path of the season, this could be a must-win game for the Rams, or a chance for the Cardinals to steal a win against some backups. Arizona fans hope this game isn’t needed to wrap up the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Anything better than three wins is an improvement. The win totals rely heavily on the assumption that general manager Steve Keim will make significant roster upgrades through the draft and the rest of the offseason. An average offensive line adds a single win to last year’s total. A better run defense likely adds two more. What gets the seventh win for the Cardinals in 2019? Kliff Kingsbury and his quarterback, whomever it may be. We’ll be back after the draft for another look at how the season will unfold. What do you think will be the final 2019 record for the Cardinals?
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