Ranking opponent difficulty for Arizona Cardinals in 2024

Here's how the Cardinals match up against their opponents for the upcoming season.
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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With Arizona Cardinals fans clamoring to guess how many games the Red Birds will come out victorious this upcoming season, I have compiled a list based on the difficulty of a win for Arizona.

While all victories in the NFL are no easy win, with the offseason moves that the Cardinals have achieved, Arizona could surprise a lot of football fans this season with some sneaky wins against some of the league's toughest teams.

This ranking contains three separate tiers, starting with tier one, “Pencil them in for a Win”. With where these teams stand at now in the offseason, the odds will certainly be in the Cardinals favor.

Tier two, “Great-Game Watch” are the tough games that could be decided by any given play. These are the close games that Arizona lost last season that with these new additions and another year of Jonathon Gannon’s leadership, those close losses could turn into wins very quickly.

And finally, tier three is an “Uphill Battle”. These games are against some of the league's best, and Gannon and company will certainly have their hands full. However, with the placement of most of these games, anything can happen in a week-to-week league. It’s far too soon to view these games as losses, but it will certainly be an uphill battle. But hey, anything can happen.

1. Tier One: Pencil them in for a win.

Greg Dortch
Arizona Cardinals v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Week 4 vs. Washington Commanders

Finishing in the basement of the NFC East last season, the Commanders are still in a clear rebuild state. While Washington now has Quarterback Jayden Daniels, the Cardinals will see him in only his fourth week, if he is named the starter. Facing a rookie quarterback early on in the season can allow the defensive-minded Gannon to try some different schemes and disguises to see how his defense takes to it.

Week 9 vs. Chicago Bears

Most NFL fans seeing the lowly Bears on their schedule probably chalked it up as a win for their team and Cardinal fans ought to as well. Chicago has surrounded Caleb Williams with great talent, but until the franchise puts together a consistent winner, most fans will continue to see Chicago as a ‘gimme’ win.

Week 13 at Minnesota Vikings

While Minnesota did just draft J.J. McCarthy, if they do not choose to start him, they will be in quarterback purgatory while they wait for the development of their quarterback of the future. The Vikings will still be a competitive opponent, but this is a game that the Cardinals should have.

Week 15 vs. New England Patriots

There is some hype surrounding Jerod Mayo and the culture change occurring in Foxboro and Patriot fans are justly excited for the upcoming season. If all goes well, Mayo has the potential to have a similar impact on his squad as the success that DeMeco Ryans had in Houston. However, most culture changes will take a couple seasons to really have a lasting impact, and we must keep in mind that what Ryans has done in Houston is extremely special given the small sample size thus far. 

Week 16 at Carolina Panthers

Given the current state of the Panthers, this has to be a victory for the Cardinals if they want to take their next step in this rebuilding process. These are the games that need to be in the win column in order to focus attention on the bigger and better goals ahead. However, with the game occurring late in the season, the worry of a “trap game” could be possible.