Arizona Cardinals schedule analysis
Opening at St. Louis gives Matt Leinart a chance to start against a weaker opponent. That was certainly better than opening against the Saints or on the road against the Vikings. The pressure will be on Leinart not to lose against a bad team, but opening the season against a weak opponent can also give him a chance to win early.
The Cardinals close the season with three games against NFC teams, with two on the road. Those games could be critical as teams fight for playoff positioning. Games against the Chiefs, Rams, Broncos, Panthers and 49ers are subject to flex scheduling.
Complaint department: The Cardinals open the season with three of their first four games on the road, including potentially tough matchups against the Falcons and Chargers. Life doesn't get much easier when Arizona returns home in Week 5. The Super Bowl champion Saints will be waiting. Arizona has proven to be a resilient team that responds well to challenges. The Cardinals might need to draw on some of that toughness.
Blackout watch: The Cardinals have worked hard to keep their sellout streak alive. The schedule sets up favorably to avoid blackouts early in the season. The home opener is against Oakland and the Raiders' fans tend to travel well. The Saints visit for the second home game. The third home game, albeit against Tampa Bay, falls in Week 8. A Christmas Day home game against Dallas should sell out well in advance.
Cardinals Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 12, at St. Louis, 4:15 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 19, at Atlanta, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 26, Oakland, 4:15 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3, at San Diego, 4:15 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10, New Orleans, 4:05 PM
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24, at Seattle, 4:05 PM
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31, Tampa Bay, 4:15 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7, at Minnesota, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14, Seattle, 4:15 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21, at Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 29, San Francisco, 8:30 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5, St. Louis, 4:15 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12, Denver, 4:15 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19, at Carolina, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 25, Dallas, 7:30 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2, at San Francisco, 4:15 PM
Final Philadelphia 24 Washington 27 Final/OT San Diego 38 San Francisco 35
Final Minnesota 35 Miami 37 Final Baltimore 13 Houston 25 Final Detroit 20 Chicago 14 Final Cleveland 13 Carolina 17 Final Atlanta 30 New Orleans 14 Final Green Bay 20 Tampa Bay 3 Final Kansas City 12 Pittsburgh 20 Final New England 17 New York 16 Final New York 37 St. Louis 27 Final Buffalo 24 Oakland 26 Final Indianapolis 7 Dallas 42 Final Seattle 35 Arizona 6