So the 2009 schedule has been released. Even after making it to the Super Bowl as NFC Conference Champions, the Cardinals are still failing to gain the respect it deserves. Sure, they finished 9-7 in the regular, but they won the NFC and went to the SUPER BOWL. They did get a little more respect than seasons past, let’s say that.
The Cardinals are going to make 3 national television appearances and true to Al Michaels word in a pre-Super Bowl interview, NBC did look at the Cardinals and slated them for two Sunday Night matches. One at home in week 3, against the Indianapolis Colts and one away, four weeks after in week 7 at the New York Giants. The Cards also have a week 14 match up on ESPN Monday Night Football at the San Francisco 49ers.
Somebody please explain to me why the Dallas Cowboys have 6 national television appearances? Who cares that they are the Dallas Cowboys?? They didn’t even make the playoffs in 2008. I could care less they spent a zillion dollars on a new stadium. In fact, only 2 of the 6 games are in Dallas, so what gives? To spin it in a positive light, at least I can see them fall flat on their rears 5 times. Nice!
Enough griping, let’s look at the Cardinals schedule week by week. Not bad, not bad at all. Other than the three national games, the Cards will start and end the season at home. This will only be the third time in 22 seasons that the Cards have opened at home. This will be the fourth season in a row opening against the 49ers.
Week 1 – vs. San Francisco 1:15pm
Arizona will open for the fourth consecutive time against San Francisco. The last two have been in San Francisco. Good way to start the season with a victory at home against a quality divisional opponent.
Week 2 – at Jacksonville, 10:00am
A decent road test early, however Jacksonville is not the team they used to be. It is still going to be a good test. Look for Arizona to find a win though and start 2-0.
Week 3 – vs. Indianapolis, 5:20pm NBC
We will be waiting all day for Sunday Night for the first time ever during the regular season. This was not a surprise that NBC picked this game. A huge test to see where the Cards are at. Cards win in a squeaker.
Week 4 – BYE
Although you’d like to see the bye a little later, there is no control over that. This might be just the week to take off after a tough game against the Colts.
Week 5 – vs. Houston, 1:15pm
Another good test at home against a tougher than usual Texans team. However, after a bye, look for Arizona to come out strong and win a close game.
Week 6 – at Seattle, 1:05pm
This possibly could be the first loss for the Cardinals. However maybe they learned what it takes to win these games now after defeating the Hawks in Seattle last season. Cards can make it 5-0. Do you believe?
Week 7 – at New York Giants, 8:20pm, NBC
This might be the first disaster of 2009. Right now it is hard to envision, even if they are lucky enough to be 5-0 at this point, that the Cards can come into New York, a place they are 2-13 since moving to Arizona, and win a primetime game. Giants win in a landslide.
Week 8 – vs. Carolina, 1:15pm
Carolina may be looking for revenge. The Cards have not played Carolina well here in Arizona the past couple of visits. Carolina will have all the motivation in the world to run past Arizona in this one and send the Cards to 5-2.
Week 9 – at Chicago, 11:00am
Jay Cutler. Enough said. Cards win.
Week 10 – vs. Seattle, 2:15pm
Time to run though another divisional opponent. Cards go to 7-2.
Week 11 – at St. Louis, 2:05pm
A nice late afternoon start on the road. I like it. St. Louis won’t. Cards win in the Edward Jones Dome again.
Week 12 – at Tennessee, 11:00am
One of only four early games for the Cards. Could be the toughest game of the season outside of New York. Tennessee will win, sending the Cards to 8-3.
Week 13 – Minnesota, 2:15pm
Minnesota came in and wiped the floor with the Cards. The Cards will need to learn to stop Adrian Peterson, or the result will be the same. The Cards could end up in the same position as last season, starting to look ahead. Watch out, Vikings will be tough and should send the Cards to 8-4.
Week 14 – at San Francisco (Mon Night- ESPN) 6:30pm
It could be a great matchup. Last season’s tilt was. Also could be the Cards first division loss in two seasons. Cards go 8-5.
Week 15 – at Detroit, 11:00am
Thank goodness the game is inside. No need to worry about the cold. Cards should win, but would not be surprised to see the Lions make it close.
Week 16 – vs. St. Louis, 2:05pm
Nice way to finish the season. Last two games at home and it starts with St. Louis. Excellent! Cards go to 10-5.
Week 17 – vs. Green Bay, 2:15pm
Cheeseheads will be disappointed that they have to wait until January 3rd to see this game, one that might not mean a thing to either one of the teams. Cards should win as long as they are playing everyone for at least a half. Cards finish 11-5. They’ve never finished better, however expectations are and should be higher now that they have reached the Super Bowl.
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