When the 2009 NFL schedule was released in April, I made my predictions game by game. How did I do? Close on some, not so much on others.
Week 1 – vs. San Francisco
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.
Well the game was a little closer than expected I guess. The Niners came out of the gates strong, won 20-16.
Predicted record: 1-0 (actual 0-1)
Week 2 – at Jacksonville
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.
Arizona did find a win and really wasn’t a test. Jacksonville struggled early and couldn’t complete an attempted comeback. Cards 31-17.
Predicted record: 2-0 (actual 1-1)
Week 3 – vs. Indianapolis
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.
Hardly a squeaker. I was pretty much off on this one. After the first quarter it was all Indy. Indy 31-10
Predicted record: 3-0 (actual 1-2)
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
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.
Arizona did come out strong, all the way to a 21-0 lead, before letting Houston tie it at 21. Arizona’s late game goal defense held the Texans at bay and won a close one 28-21.
Predicted record: 4-0 (actual 2-2)
Week 6 – at Seattle
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?
Even I bought into the Seattle lemonade a little and thought this would be much closer than it was. This was the Cards biggest blowout of the season, 27-3.
Predicted record: 5-0 (actual 3-2)
Week 7 – at New York Giants
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.
Nowhere close to disaster. The Cards surprised everyone, including even myself, in holding their own against what would become a weaker Giants team than we all believed at the time. Cards won 24-17.
Predicted record: 5-1 (actual 4-2)
Week 8 – vs. Carolina
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.
Bingo. First direct hit of the season. Cards were never in this one. They did run past the Cards easily 34-21.
Predicted record: 5-2 (actual 4-3)
Week 9 – at Chicago
Jay Cutler. Enough said. Cards win.
Jay Cutler had a big game, however did turn it over twice. Cards took an early lead and never looked back. Kurt Warner had his best game of the season, throwing for five touchdowns. Cards won 41-21.
Predicted record: 6-2 (actual 5-3)
Week 10 – vs. Seattle
Time to run though another divisional opponent. Cards go to 7-2.
They eventually took control of the game, but Seattle kept it close in the first half. Arizona won 31-20.
Predicted record: 7-2 (actual 6-3)
Week 11 – at St. Louis
A nice late afternoon start on the road. I like it. St. Louis won’t. Cards win in the Edward Jones Dome again.
Cards did win, however they lost Kurt Warner to a concussion and Matt Leinart had to finish this one. Cards 21-13.
Predicted record: 8-2 (actual 7-3)
Week 12 – at Tennessee
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.
Only thing off about this prediction was the time of the game, although you can’t blame me for this off-guess as it was scheduled early and changed to the afternoon later. It was the closest loss of the season, probably the one that stung the most, allowing the Titans to drive 99 yards on the final drive to win, converting three fourth downs. Titans 20, Cards 17
Predicted record: 8-3 (actual 7-4)
Week 13 – Minnesota
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.
Arizona handled the Vikings in pretty much every way possible for this made-for-tv football game. Cards 30-17.
Predicted record: 8-4 (actual 8-4)
Week 14 – at San Francisco
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.
Cards did lose this divisional game. They didn’t come prepared and the Niners walked all over them for the second time this season. Lowest scoring output of season. Cards lose 24-9.
Predicted record: 8-5 (actual 8-5)
Week 15 – at Detroit
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.
Lions did make it close after Arizona took a 17-0 halftime lead. Detroit tied it at 17 and again at 24 before Arizona finally pulled it out with two minutes left, 31-24.
Predicted record: 9-5 (actual 9-5)
Week 16 – vs. St. Louis
Nice way to finish the season. Last two games at home and it starts with St. Louis. Excellent! Cards go to 10-5.
Cards were able to handle St. Louis with much problem as expected and the Cards did go to 10-5.
Predicted record: 10-5 (actual 10-5)
Week 17 – vs. Green Bay
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.
By the time these two did take the field in the afternoon, it did mean nothing. However one team still decided to show up and the other decided to rest for the playoffs. The Cards starters didn’t even play the whole first half like I thought. Most were out by the end of the first quarter. Green Bay won easily 33-7 and now the two teams square off again this week in the Wild-Card round in Glendale.
Predicted record: 11-5 (actual 10-6)