The Arizona Cardinals won 10 games in 2013 but still weren't good enough to make the NFL playoffs. While last season was intriguing under first year coach, Bruce Arians, the Cardinals are coming into the 2014 season with high expectations. In the NFC West, making the playoffs won't be easy, but it certainly is attainable. Could Arizona be the third straight team from the division that plays in the Super Bowl?
Arizona has a real chance to get off to a hot start. In their first game to start the season, Arizona plays San Diego at home. In similar fashion to every team in the league, the Cardinals need to protect their home turf. It's the second game of the Monday night double header.
It's even more important because Arizona travels to New York the very next week. They take on the Giants in the 1:00 p.m. Sunday game before heading back to host San Francisco in week three.
After a bye week, Arizona has two dates apiece with the AFC West and NFC East. The Cardinals travel to Denver to face off with Peyton Manning and the new look Broncos. Then they host Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. They also play the Oakland Raiders on the road. The Cardinals end the month of October with a date against Philadelphia.
Three of those offenses, excluding Oakland's should be high flying throughout the majority of the season.
In November, Arizona has a highlighted game with the Dallas Cowboys. Every game means something, but it's especially important when teams could be playing for that final Wild Card spot.
They end the month of November with their only back to back road games all season. First they take on the Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals were the only team to beat the Seahawks on the road last season. Will they be able to do it twice in a row? If not, they'll face an important moment in the season when they travel across country to play the Atlanta Falcons.
The December schedule is about as tough as any other team in the NFL. First they face the pesky Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams should be vying for consecutive postseason berths when the time comes.
The last three weeks of the season are against their NFC West brethren. Two of the contest are road games and the other one is against the Super Bowl champions. There's no telling how the division will shake out, but the holiday season will be anything but joyous for the loser.
Last year, Arizona lost to San Francisco to end the season. They'll have a chance at redemption.
Arizona has one Monday night game and one Thursday night game. Their lone short week is the December 11 contest at St. Louis.
During the season, Arizona faces three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. They are Peyton Manning and Eli Manning on the road. The Cardinals also play Russell Wilson and Seattle twice.
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