Arizona Cardinals opening season in a way not seen in 30 years

The Arizona Cardinals open the 2023 season tomorrow against the Washington Commanders before they face another pair of NFC East teams.
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages

Once upon a time, the Arizona Cardinals were known as the Phoenix Cardinals and they set up shop in the NFC East. The Cards, for the most part, had 32 forgettable seasons sans 1974, 1975, and 1998, among others, and they have fared far better in the NFC West.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting facts surrounding this team and their time in the East, one of which came in 1993 when they opened the season against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their next two games came against Washington on the road, before they faced the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.

If you have a sharp eye, you’ll have noticed that they opened the first three weeks of the season against NFC East opponents. And for the first time since they were members of the division, the Redbirds will be playing their first three contests against their old rivals.

Arizona Cardinals opening season vs. three NFC East teams

How did the Cardinals fare in that trio of games back in ‘93? Not good, but not terrible, losing the opener 23-17 to the Eagles before they upended Washington 17-10. They played their home opener vs. Dallas the following week and lost it, ironically by a score of 17-10. 

Fast-forward to 2023, and the Cards will play in Washington tomorrow afternoon before they return to the desert to host their home opener vs. the New York Giants. The Cards will stick around Glendale for the following week and see if they can keep that winning streak alive vs. the Cowboys. 

As one of the NFL’s youngest teams, it’s ultra tough to believe that the Cardinals will fare any better in 2023 than they did 30 seasons ago. But considering how bad most of the NFL universe thinks this team will be, even another 1-2 start would be refreshing to many, and likely considered a success - especially if that win comes against Dallas.


Source: Edging Into The Regular Season, And Friday Before The Commanders by Darren Urban, AZ

(Other historical data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)