The Arizona Cardinals have the NFL’s second most difficult schedule this season. They are just behind the Los Angeles Rams, who are both their division opponents and the reigning Super Bowl champions. During the season, the Cardinals will have to face the Rams twice. Not only that, but they also have to compete in the challenging American Football Conference West. Also, the Cardinals will try to win the conference, which is the strongest division in all of USA football.
The team has four games scheduled for prime time, one of which is a clash against their NFC West rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, that will take place in Mexico. In addition to that, they will be hosting the Bucs and Tom Brady on Christmas night.
It should come as no surprise that three of Arizona’s hardest games are against teams from the AFC West. One of those games is the Cardinals’ first clash versus the Rams, which takes place early in the season. The other is the Sunday Night Football Christmas clash against Brady and the rest of the crew.
It comes as a surprise that all but one of the games are at home. How will this impact the Arizona sports betting scene?
Arizona Cardinals Toughest Games
In this section we will highlight the weeks the Cardinals will be playing their toughest games of the season. Furthermore, the opponents and analysis of the games will be discussed.
Week 1: Cardinals vs. Chiefs
The Cardinals will open their season schedule with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. This will be one of the most difficult games of the entire season. Arizona’s new defense will make its debut in the game without DE Chandler Jones, Due to Deandre Hopkins’ six-game PED sentence, the Cardinals will also play without their standout wide receiver. However, it will be interesting to see if Marquise Brown and Murray can rekindle their college chemistry in the game.
The Cardinals meet the Kansas City Chiefs every four years. So, this is the first meeting between Murray and Mahomes. It is also the first time Mahomes will go against his former college coach, Kliff Kingsbury.
In 2018, the Chiefs defeated the Cardinals in Kansas City, resulting in a 0-1 score for the Cardinals against Mahomes. The Cardinals have only been able to manage a 3-9-1 record versus the Chiefs.
Week 2: Cardinals at Raiders
Another tough week for the Cardinals in the season will be their week 2 game against the Raiders. In the week, another team from the AFC West, the Raiders, is slated to compete against the Cardinals at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. This will be the inaugural game played in the stadium by the Cardinals.
The Raiders were very busy adding players to their roster this summer, including Jones. Since he joined the Raiders, this will be his first game against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will play another game without their wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but the Raiders will have wide receiver Davante Adams, who they just added to the team.
What makes the Raiders different this season? They now have two of the league’s most excellent pass rushers, making their defense considerably more dangerous than the Cardinals. This is a result of the Silver and Black signing of Maxx Crosby and Jones.
The Raiders defeated the Cardinals in their final home game of 2018. They have only managed a general record of 4-6 versus the Raiders.
Week 3: Cardinals vs. Rams
The Cardinals and Rams will meet for the first time this season. It will also be the first time they meet since the Cardinals lost to the Rams in the NFC Wild Card game of 2022. The Rams beat the Cardinals twice last season, including in the playoffs, and both losses occurred when Hopkins was absent. Last season, the Cardinals defeated the Rams at home.
Adding insult to injury, Pro Football Focus has placed the Los Angeles Rams as the NFL’s fourth most talented roster. This will make them a difficult team for the Cardinals to face.
Week 12: Cardinals vs. Chargers
In week 12, the Cardinals will also be facing one of their toughest opponents of the season, another AFC West team, the Chargers. The Chargers made major free agent acquisitions in the off-season.
One of the most fearsome pass-rushing duos in the game was formed when they added Khalil Mack to their defense. Mack and Joey Bosa are capable of giving Murray and the offense a good fight.
In their most recent matchup, the Cardinals lost to the Chargers in Los Angeles in 2018. The Chargers now have a 4-10 all-time record against the Cardinals.
Week 16: Cardinals vs. Bucs
This isn’t just any game. It’s a Christmas Day Sunday Night Football game against the Bucs. Tom Brady will also play against the Cardinals for the first time at State Farm Stadium. He doesn’t play the Cardinals very often, and especially not in Arizona for a special Christmas game.
Brady has only faced the Cardinals twice. This is in 2004 at Sun Devil Stadium, when he defeated them, and in 2012 when he lost to them at home. The Patriots did play the Cardinals twice more, but Brady was absent.