When looking at the opponents on the Arizona Cardinals schedule for the 2022 NFL season, their path to return to the playoffs seems very difficult.
On Thursday evening, the NFL will release the 2022 regular season schedule for the Arizona Cardinals and the other 31 teams in the league.
We already know who the Cardinals will be playing during the 2022 campaign, but Thursday’s announcement will reveal when Arizona will be facing each opponent during the 18-week schedule.
No matter how the Cardinals’ schedule ends up for the 2022 season, we already know that it’s going to be one of the most difficult in the entire NFL.
AZ Cardinals Schedule: Arizona’s strength of schedule ranks second for 2022
A Monday night Week 11 matchup in Mexico against the San Francisco 49ers next season has already been announced for Arizona, but there are still 16 other games to find out about on Thursday.
Right now, we know the Cardinals‘ home and away opponents for the 2022 campaign. Arizona will obviously be facing the 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, and Seattle Seahawks twice next season. But outside of their divisional foes, the Cardinals’ home opponents for 2022 include the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles.
On the road next season, Arizona’s non-NFC West opponents include the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and Minnesota Vikings.
Based on each NFL team’s record last season, the Cardinals will have the second-toughest schedule in the league for 2022. The Rams are the only team with a tougher schedule than Arizona next season.
With how much change that has gone on throughout the NFL during the last few months though, basing a team’s 2022 strength of schedule on the records from 2021 seems a little foolish.
Sharp Football Analysis has their own strength of schedule model that also factors in each team’s projected win total for 2022. Based on their calculations, the Cardinals will still have a tough schedule, but they have the eighth-hardest group of opponents and not the second-hardest.
Either way, Arizona’s path back to the playoffs next season doesn’t appear that it is going to be anywhere close to easy.