- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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2012 Cardinals Road Trips
Please, no back-to-back road games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets. Each of those games will require trips covering more than 2,100 air miles. Sure, the 49ers went 2-0 on an extended East Coast trip last season, remaining in Ohio between games. That worked for them, but when the Cardinals tried something similar in 2008, they gave up 80 total points in consecutive defeats to Washington and the Jets.
Let's avoid late-season trips to cold-weather venues. Games against the Patriots, Jets and Green Bay Packers come to mind. Remember what happened to the Cardinals when they played the Patriots in a snowstorm during the 2008 season. They lost by 40 points.
Another home game to open the season, please. The Cardinals have opened at home only three times since moving to Arizona in 1988. They beat Carolina at University of Phoenix Stadium to open last season. Hot September weather was once a deterrent to scheduling early games in Arizona. That is no longer the case now that the Cardinals play indoors.
If the Cardinals play a Thursday night game on the road, make it against the 49ers. Arizona's trip to San Francisco is easily the shortest one the Cardinals make. A Thursday night road game against the Patriots or Jets would make for a tougher trip on a short week. Note that every NFL team plays at least one game in prime time this season, thanks in part to the league adding to its Thursday night schedule.
Facing the Eagles late in the season could be preferable to facing them earlier, on the theory that quarterback Michael Vick takes a beating and wears down. A look through Vick's career passing stats by month showed no clear pattern of late-season struggles. November was his toughest month last season. That was when Arizona roughed up Vick, shut him down and forced him to miss the next three games with broken ribs. The Philadelphia-Arizona game figures to be big for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, who did not play against his former team when Arizona visited the Eagles last season.