Arizona Cardinals look to take over top spot in NFC West

As the 2020 season gets ready for kickoff, the Arizona Cardinals will look for a fast start again a division foe.

Despite the uncertainty of there actually being a 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is ready for week 1. With their 53-man roster set, the Arizona Cardinals are ready to face their division rivals, and current NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cardinals only won 5 games in 2019. So expectations this season are high. And with second-year QB Kyler Murray and newly acquired WR DeAndre Hopkins leading the way, they should be.

Optimism also lies in the fact that despite losing both games against the Niners in 2019, they played some of their best ball in both games, as the Niners defense struggled to keep Kyler Murray and Co. at bay.

In both contests, the Cardinals’ offense racked up 623 yards of offense along with 51 total points. Murray threw for 391 yards, tossed four touchdowns and threw zero interceptions. RB Kenyan Drake averaged 5.7 yards per carry, as the Niners defense also struggled to stop the heavy run game of Kliff Kingsbury.

With a solid offensive line, an upgrade at WR and a much improved defense, the Cardinals are looking to turn heads in 2020. They can establish their presence early if they can pull off the upset in Santa Clara against a team they should’ve beat at least once last year.

Following the Niners, the Red Birds will have games against Washington Football Team, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and New York Jets before facing the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 6.

Even if they were to lose this Week against the 49ers, the Cardinals have ones of the easiest schedules this year outside of their own division — but winning division games is how they’ll make a run. And if they really want to turn heads, they’ll need to come out and punch the Niners in the gut and not look back.

The Cardinals are looking to fly high this year. How high is entirely up to them, and it starts this Sunday in Northern California.