With 2018 a bust for the Arizona Cardinals it’s never too early to look ahead to 2019
The Arizona Cardinals may have had a bad season this year but as the old saying goes, there is always next year. Preparations for next season start a week from now.
The Cardinals will play the entire NFC West as usual next year with home and home games against the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks. They also play the entire NFC South next season.
The home games will be against the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. The road games will be at the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only the Saints from that group will be in the 2018 playoffs.
Then there is the entire AFC North next season. They last played the AFC North in 2015. They will host the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns and go on the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.
Lastly, they will play the team from the NFC East and NFC North that finishes in the same position as they did this season. As of right now the other fourth place teams are the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.
There is still some positioning to be completed in week 17, so this is just as of today. The NFC South, AFC West, and NFC West opponents are set in stone.
The only way the Cardinals will not finish in fourth place after next week is if they win and the San Francisco 49ers lose. The Cardinals are at the Seahawks and the 49ers travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams.
The Cardinals would finish in third place thanks to the head to head season sweep of the 49ers. That will also determine how the 2019 NFL Draft order will play out. Right now, the first pick can still be owned by the Cardinals, 49ers, Oakland Raiders, or New York Jets.