Arizona Cardinals Schedule: 5 games to dread in 2023

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals released their schedule last night, and while there are some favorable matchups, there are others to wince at.

The Arizona Cardinals have more than a few favorable matchups on their 2023 schedule. While many don’t believe this will be a good football team, sometimes when they are playing is every bit as important regarding who they are playing, which is why I’m looking forward to watching them face some tougher opponents like Dallas and Seattle. 

But there are also ill-timed games, and you will find a few of them below. Many of the dreaded matchups pit the Cards against playoff contenders, but there is one listed against a lesser opponent that is more of a product of poor timing. Keep reading to see which five matchups I’m dreading on the Cardinals schedule. 

5 games to dread on the Arizona Cardinals schedule

1 - Week 4 at San Francisco

Playing in the NFC West, it’s inevitable that the Arizona Cardinals must face the San Francisco 49ers, but Week 4 couldn’t have been poorer timing. The Cards will be coming off of back-to-back games against tough opponents in the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, and the Niners will be the toughest of the trio. 

Expect a rather worn down Cardinals team in this one, and don’t be surprised when the Niners win big. If the Redbirds can find a way to somehow stifle San Francisco’s offense, then maybe they will make the final score at least look respectable. 

2 - Week 5 vs. Cincinnati

As for the encore? A home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and they could just be the best team in the AFC this season. As is the case regarding the Niners, don’t be surprised if this one isn’t even much of a game barring some miracle. 

Quarterback Joe Burrow is one of those quarterbacks who will overwhelm the Arizona defense. He's established himself so much, that even the league’s most elite defenses will have trouble stopping him, let alone one in “rebuilding” mode. 

3 - Week 8 vs. Baltimore

Weeks 2 through 8 will be a gauntlet for the Arizona Cardinals. And while I can see them winning a pair of games here (against Dallas and Los Angeles), I can also see a few teams ending the Redbirds after three quarters. 

Baltimore, with Lamar Jackson now firmly entrenched as the starter for the foreseeable future, will vie for a playoff spot if their franchise quarterback can stay healthy. And even if Jackson ends up with yet another injury, the Baltimore Ravens have shown time and again they’re more than capable of staying afloat with backups. 

4 - Week 12 at Los Angeles

While I can see the Arizona Cardinals taking one from the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6, Week 12 could be a different story. Why? Because after facing three easy opponents in Cleveland (for real), Atlanta, and Houston, a young team like the Cards could win all three games, then they can be prone to putting it in cruise control against another bad team. 

This one, especially given the fact it’s a rivalry game, has trap written all over it. Look for the Cards to lose a game they could, and perhaps should have won, had they simply played better football. 

5 - Week 13 at Pittsburgh

The following week, we got the Arizona Cardinals squaring off against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that will be better than everyone is giving them credit for. And when do the Steelers typically get hot? Minus their epic collapse in 2020, it often happens during the latter portions of the season, and I’m expecting no different in 2023. 

This is a game where you will see Kenny Pickett and Company go to work early, while (hopefully) Kyler and Company will have a tough time moving the ball against what will once again be one of the league’s better defensive units. Overall, I’d have rather seen Arizona play this game after, instead of before, a bye week. 

Related. Cardinals Schedule: Top 5 games to watch for 2023. dark