Last-second bold prediction for Arizona Cardinals in Week 1

The Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders are kicking things off this early afternoon (morning in the desert). Here is one final prediction.
Denver Broncos v Arizona Cardinals
Denver Broncos v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Earlier in the week, we made three bold predictions for the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders Week 1 tilt. We got James Conner and Keaontay Ingram slated to overpower that brutal Washington defense and earn solid days while Zaven Collins and Company record a few sacks. Nolan Cooney’s leg could bring the Redbirds the W by helping them win the field position game, and so can Matt Prater’s, who in our final bold prediction boots the game-winning field goal.

Prater may be 39, and sooner than later, his leg strength will diminish. But in this contest, we will all remember why the Cardinals kept him around for another season. Prater will put one through the uprights toward the end of the first half to tie this low-scoring affair, then he will come back out and drill a game-winning 44-yard field goal to give Arizona a 16-14 win. 

Can Matt Prater win it for the Arizona Cardinals this afternoon?

Prater is starting his third season in the desert, and he’s coming off a stellar campaign from 2022. One of the few bright spots last year, Prater converted 22 of 25 field goals for a remarkable 88% conversion rate. 

His long of 57 yards showed the NFL universe that he still had enough leg strength to warrant at least another solid season in the league, and he also converted five of six attempts from beyond 50 yards. Prater may be an older player, but if he’s still accurate from long range and can convert kicks at 50 yards or more, then he can stay with the Redbirds for as long as he wants. 

It’s easy to forget that guys like Adam Vinatieri and Morten Anderson played the position until they were 47 and 48 years old, respectively. The Arizona Cardinals also employed a 43-year-old Phil Dawson in 2018, so keeping Prater around for perhaps even another half-decade (if he’s willing) isn’t all that farfetched. 


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)