It was the perfect of occasions. It was the worst of occasions.
The 2021 season was an uneven one for the Cardinals, who faltered after a sizzling begin and had been crushed of their wild-card playoff conflict with the Rams.
The nice: Arizona started 8-0, driving the wave of Kyler Murray performances and a dynamic run recreation that featured do-it-all-back Chase Edmonds and bruiser James Conner.
The unhealthy: The Cardinals collapsed when the accidents got here knocking. Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and Maxx Williams all hung out on the sideline, cracking the continuity that Kliff Kingsbury’s aspect constructed over the opening two months.
All of that culminated in a 3-6 report in Arizona’s final 9 video games and a non-competitive playoff look.
Murray’s again, for now — the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the 12 months had his fifth-year option picked up and is scheduled to make $29.7 million in 2023.
Hopkins is just not again, no less than not but — the three-time All-Professional receiver was suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing medication coverage.
So, what are Arizona’s prospects in 2022? It is troublesome to say. The workforce nonetheless has a variety of expertise, however that expertise has didn’t push the workforce into the higher stratosphere.
For now, here’s a full breakdown of the Cardinals’ 2022 schedule, together with dates, begin occasions and evaluation for all 17 video games.
Arizona Cardinals schedule 2022
The Cardinals’ schedule will probably be unveiled as a part of the NFL’s schedule launch on Thursday, Could 12.
- House: Chiefs, Chargers, Buccaneers, Saints, Eagles, Patriots, Seahawks, 49ers, Rams
- Away: Falcons, Panthers, Raiders, Broncos, Vikings, Seahawks, 49ers, Rams
|11||Monday, Nov. 21||vs. 49ers (in Mexico Metropolis)||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
Seven of the groups the Cardinals will face in 2022 reached the playoffs in 2021, with 4 of these groups advancing past the first spherical: the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Rams and 49ers.
They’re going to face the Bucs, Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and 49ers at residence and the Raiders, Rams and 49ers on the street.
Cardinals power of schedule
The Cardinals’ 2022 opponents went a mixed 157-132 in 2021, a .543 successful share that’s the second-strongest within the NFL.
Hardest exams: The Cardinals may very well be taking a look at a brutal slate of residence video games. Arizona is because of tackle the Chiefs, Chargers, Buccaneers and Rams in Glendale; all of these groups are coming into the 2022 season with Tremendous Bowl aspirations.
Few groups are as full because the Rams. The reigning Tremendous Bowl champions are stuffed to the brim with star energy. They proved as a lot of their 34-11 beatdown of Arizona of their NFC wild-card recreation final January — Cooper Kupp scored a landing, Odell Beckham Jr. added one other and the Rams’ entrance seven harassed Murray to the tune of two interceptions and a 40.9 passer ranking.
Largest breaks: Whereas Arizona’s schedule is pretty stout, the workforce additionally has a handful of interesting matchups. The Seahawks, Panthers and Falcons all appear destined for a lackluster 2022. Cardinals followers will probably be hoping these video games will assist Kliff Kingsbury’s squad construct confidence for its extra imposing opposition.
Backside line: Arizona was strong for a lot of final season. Accidents broke aside the continuity that helped to construct the 8-0 begin, and the workforce into struggled within the second half.
Which model of the Cardinals will shine by means of in 2022? The assured aspect that strutted by means of its previous first eight video games final yr? These Cardinals routed the Rams in Week 4 and seemed able to embarking on a deep postseason run. Or will it’s the injury-plagued aspect that misplaced 4 of its final 5 — a stretch that included losses to the Lions (3-13-1) and Seahawks (7-10).
Arizona has the power of schedule to show its price. It’ll face off in opposition to a number of the greatest groups within the league this yr. If the Cardinals play to their full potential, they might set up themselves as a power within the playoffs.
Nevertheless it’s arduous to look previous the Rams within the division. A wild-card berth appears extra lifelike right now, particularly after accounting for DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension.
File prediction: 10-7