5 interesting things to know about the Arizona Cardinals Week 1 matchup

The Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders Week 1 matchup may be bland to some, but a deeper dive shows it’s an interesting one.
Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) runs
Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram (30) runs / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Commanders share an interesting history. While the Cards were a founding member of the NFL, the Commanders joined the league in 1932, and both franchises have been fixtures in the league ever since. 

They were also division rivals between 1970 and 2001, and they engaged in quite a few heated matchups in that frame. Even following the St. Louis Cardinals move to Arizona in 1988, the Redbirds remained members of the NFC East despite the geographic inconsistency until the NFL realigned in 2002, which corrected the issue when they moved to the NFC West.

But there are five interesting topics for Cardinals vs. Commanders heading into Week 1, and we will talk about them below. Not only is this a game of firsts for both franchises, but we also have an interesting grudge match on our hands. 

Andy Lee, Zane Gonzalez
Washington Football Team v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

5 things to know about Arizona Cardinals vs. Commanders

1 - This is the first time the Cardinals have ever played the ‘Commanders’

The Arizona Cardinals have a long, winding history against the Commanders, with their first game dating back to October 16th, 1932. And while the Cardinals have seen several name changes relating to their city/region, the Commanders have gone through several since their inaugural season in Boston.

In 2022, they became the Commanders, and this season, it will be the first time the Cards will face the team under its current moniker. Can the Cards win their “inaugural game” against Washington’s current incarnation, or will the revitalized Commanders see otherwise?

2 - Both teams will open the season with new starting quarterbacks

Ideally, the Arizona Cardinals would have Kyler Murray back for this one, but that won’t be the case. Instead, you will most likely see Josh Dobbs get the starting nod while Clayton Tune factors in as the understudy. 

Meanwhile, the Commanders will be starting second year quarterback Sam Howell, who they drafted in the fifth round last season. Howell enjoyed a stellar college career, and at one time, he was thought to be the top-rated quarterback in the 2022 class. That said, don’t let his Day 3 draft status fool you; as Howell has shown he can be effective on plenty of occasions.