Ridiculous to think Arizona Cardinals Week 1 game will decide first pick in 2024

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs through an opening Washington Football Team
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs through an opening Washington Football Team / Michael Chow via Imagn Content Services,

Of the 17 games on the Arizona Cardinals 2023 schedule, some believe their must-watch matchup will occur in Week 1 against the Washington Commanders.

As I write this, it’s only May 18th, just under four months before the Arizona Cardinals open the 2023 NFL Season against the Washington Commanders on September 10th. But it’s also the NFL offseason, the time when you will go online and sometimes find the most mind-boggling predictions regarding your favorite team’s upcoming campaign. 

And I may have already found the most ludicrous projection regarding the Redbirds schedule; even one that’s wilder than anyone predicting the Cards to finish the year as the NFL’s first team to finish a season 0-17. Because one major outlet believes that the Cardinals-Commanders game in Week 1 may ultimately determine who picks first in the 2024 NFL Draft. Check out the following quote from SI.com. 

"“While there are a number of different matchups that could fill this role on my list, let’s focus on the point here: Two very bad teams are going to play against each other this season and, as a result, potentially decide who gets the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft.”"

Connor Orr

Week 1 won’t determine whether the Arizona Cardinals land the first pick

Now, I’m not saying that this can’t happen. But for Week 1 to determine whether the Arizona Cardinals or the Washington Commanders land the first pick in 2024, you would need the following to occur:

  • They must finish as the worst teams in the NFL
  • Both teams must finish within one game of one another

It’s a 32-team league, and anything can happen over the course of a given season. Some teams who are projected to be among the worst in the NFL turn around the ship quickly each year. And given the Cardinals strengths in the receiving unit and at offensive line, chances are, they will play better than many analysts are currently forecasting. 

The Commanders also have a coach in Ron Rivera who has built quite a successful resume during his time on the sidelines. And although they, like the Cardinals, probably aren’t making the playoffs, Washington has solid skill position units for the likes of Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett to perhaps play better than advertised. 

Both teams have more than their respective strengths, and could wind up much better than they are initially projected to be. Meanwhile, you also have teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans, who could find themselves on a slippery slope this season, much like the Cards were in 2022. 

In short, it’s more than premature to believe the Arizona Cardinals-Washington Commanders Week 1 matchup will determine anything. Not only do both teams have stronger rosters than critics believe, but for this prediction to occur, Arizona and Washington need to bottom out to within one game of one another, and the odds of these variables occurring are close to zero. 

Related. Cardinals: Major network analyst gets it right about Clayton Tune. dark

Source: The 10 Best Games on the 2023 NFL Schedule by Connor Orr, SI.com