Sept. 11, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver (14) Armanti Edwards against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals by my estimation will be 2-2 headed into the second quarter of the 2013 season. The next four games are no walk in the park. In fact, they are all games the Cards could end up losing, however giving them the benefit of the doubt, I won’t predict that right now. They have three of the next four games at home.
Week 5 – Carolina Panthers
I feel like the Cards play these dudes every year. This year’s tilt will be in Glendale. The last time the Panthers came to Arizona, it was Cam Newton’s rookie debut on the way to a 28-24 Cards victory. Newton will be entering his third season and could be well on his way to making people forget about last season. With this game in Arizona though, I will go with the Cards in this one. Cardinals 23 Panthers 21
Week 6 – @San Francisco 49’ers
Most seasons I would say what the Cards did in the off-season got them closer to the Niners. However the Niners struck gold themselves in the off-season and there is no reason to believe they won’t be fighting for the division title and Super Bowl Championship at the end of the season. I think the Cards will have the weapons to put more points up on them this season, after scoring only 16 against them in two games in 2012. It won’t be nearly enough though. Niners prevail. Niners 37 Cardinals 17
Week 7 – Seattle Seahawks (Thursday Night Football)
Yet another division opponent that seemed to add a lot more pieces to a team that already had a lot to win. After splitting the season series last year, although that last game in Seattle in December, a 58-0 loss, it seemed like these two teams were only equal in what their records will be going into week one, 0-0. I just can’t see the Seahawks losing this nationally televised game. It won’t be anywhere close to 58-0, but the Cards will need to play nearly perfect to beat Seattle in 2013. Seahawks 34 Cardinals 22
Week 8 – Atlanta Falcons
The Cards may have gotten three home games in this part of the season, however, the level of talent coming here to play is just astounding. I mean, the Niners, Seahawks, and Falcons in consecutive weeks? It really doesn’t get more difficult than that in the NFC. The Cards usually play Atlanta tough and frankly should have won last season in Atlanta despite no offense. Now they have an offense to work with. I am going to go out on a limb here really for the first time in the season and give the Cards the victory. Cardinals 28 Falcons 27
So it was another 2-2 quarter for the Cards. That puts them at 4-4 now headed into the bye week and the second half of the season. It could be worse and it was in 2012. The smell of progress is in the air.