The Arizona Cardinals will need a fast start in 2020

With the eighth toughest league schedule in 2020, the Arizona Cardinals will need to get out to a fast start.

The Arizona Cardinals will have a schedule that challenges them from Week 1. Beginning with a road trip to play their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, their first five games will also include back-to-back road games in the Eastern Time Zone against the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets. Fold in games against the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions, and anything from 2-3 to 3-2 seems reasonable.

Heck, even 1-4 is a possibility.

The 2020 schedule is the kind that offers some opportunities if the Cardinals can get out to a fast start. The first quarter, in particular, needs to find some immediate success with Arizona taking care of business at home as well as stealing a few games on the East Coast. If they don’t, it’s a season that could get out of hand quickly.

The Cardinals have seven games before the bye in Week 8. For Arizona to have any chance, especially with nine games in the second half of the season, and two in the division against what could be a hobbled Los Angeles Rams, entering their week off with any momentum will be critical.

Games that look like wins are a mixed bag. After the bye week, matchups against the Miami Dolphins, and a still unproven Buffalo Bills team are games the Cardinals could find success. A Week 14 trip to play the New York Giants is another game where Arizona could rise up on the road.

Games against the NFC East could also help the Cardinals early in the year. A Week 2 contest against the Redskins as well as a Week 6 date against the Dallas Cowboys are opportunities to pad a win column against opponents Arizona will match up well against.

Next: Cardinals: Four games that will make or break their NFL season

It’s hard not to be optimistic about the Cardinals. With Kyler Murray predicted to have a big 2020 season, a lot of great things are ahead for Arizona. If they can score a quick start to the season, many of those predictions could come to pass.