As the NFL wraps up another round of playoffs and prepares for the Conference Championships this weekend, for the Arizona Cardinals the season is over. Lockers have long been cleaned out, players have gone home to spend the off-season with their families, and Cardinals fans have turned their attentions to the other teams (the teams that finished their seasons with winning records and have advanced in the playoffs). Whether the 7-8-1 Cardinals deserve to be in this position or not, after beating every other team in the NFC West division during the regular season, it is what it is and the outcome has already been accepted.
Having time to heal helps in every traumatic situation, especially when expectations were deemed so high, but Cardinals fans have had time to get over it. Looking on the bright side, the team is by no means bad. Just a few missed opportunities and we know which team would really be coming out of the west: Cardinals Nation! Fans expect next season that the team will come out a little angry. The results will be interesting.
Arizona Cardinals 2017 Schedule Predictions
Of course, there is no way to predict, after the free agency period takes its toll, which of the Cardinals players will actually still be in a Cardinals uniform. But the nucleus of the team (rest assured) will be intact. With the offensive stars of the team, quarterback Carson Palmer (will give it at least one more year), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (maybe), running back David Johnson (nothing more to say), next season is going to be a chart-buster for the Cardinals.
Looking ahead, the new 2017 schedule has not been released. It won’t be posted until maybe April. But we do know who the teams are! Doing some predicting, this is what we’ve come up with for a possible 2017 schedule.
Week One: Sept. 10th- @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Cardinals would prefer to have this road match-up behind them before the cold weather sets in. The first game of the year would be as good a time as any. Quarterback Carson Wentz will be starting his second season with the Eagles. The Cardinals should win this one, 28-10.
Week Two: Sept. 17th- @ Detroit Lions
The Cardinals stay on the road for a second straight game to take on the Lions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is good, but the Lions struggle on defense. Cardinals win narrowly, 24-23.
Week Three: Sept. 24th- San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are in shambles. This home opener will result in an onslaught victory for the Cardinals and a third win in a row. Predictably, the Cardinals dominate the 49ers, 31-6.
Week Four: Oct. 1st- New York Giants
Can the Cardinals remain undefeated after four games? Yes they can…and will. The Giants will be facing the same struggles next season as they have all this season. The Giants are stout on defense, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning will find a way to mess up what could be a steal victory for his team. Cardinals to beat the Giants, 23-21.
Week Five: Oct. 8th- @ Washington Redskins
This could be a trap game for the Cardinals, no matter how well Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is performing. The Cardinals haven’t won in D.C. since 1998 at then-called Jack Kent Cook Stadium. The Redskins hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season, 16-13.
Week Six: Oct.15th- @ Indianapolis Colts
The Cardinals will go into Indianapolis with renewed vigor, after suffering their first loss. The team won’t need any “Luck” with this one. The Cardinals rebound with a victory over the Colts, 27-23.
Week Seven: Oct. 22nd- Seattle Seahawks
Sports analysts will agree, predictably, this date is set for Bird Battle number one. Mainly because it falls on the same date as last season. This could very well be the highlight match-up of the week. Cardinals fans will enjoy the 31-27 victory over the Seahawks for a long time.
Week Eight: Oct. 29th- @ Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals will be 6-1 when they face the Rams in London. The Rams have home-field advantage in this match up, but it won’t be enough. The Cardinals roll over the Rams, 31-10.
Week Nine: Nov. 5th- Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are coming to play for their first time at University Of Phoenix Stadium. This game will be close. Jaguars surprise the Cardinals with their second loss of the season. Jaguars win, 24-17.
Week 10: Nov. 13th- Bye Week
Week 11: Nov. 19th- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter enjoys returning to his old stomping grounds. Koetter was head coach for the ASU football team from 2001-2006. Of course, losing to the Cardinals will not feel as nice as Arizona weather in November, but the Buccaneers will have to get over it. The Cardinals handle this match-up like gangbusters and beat the Buccaneers, 28-10.
Week 12: Nov. 26th- @ Houston Texans
Going up against a very stout Texans defense will be tough for quarterback Carson Palmer. Fortunately, the Texans will still be suffering from the Brock Osweiler ordeal. Cardinals find a way to secure their ninth victory defeating the Texans, 10-6.
Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 30th- @ San Francisco 49ers
The NFC West division is in shambles. The Cardinals will have no trouble knocking around the hapless 49ers in their second meeting of the season. This lop-sided match-up is perfect for Thursday Night Football. Cardinals win, 28-3.
Week 14: Monday, Dec. 10th- Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals host the Rams on Monday Night Football. Maybe the NFL had high hopes for this divisional match-up. The Cardinals take a nationally-televised victory over the lowly Rams, 34-13.
Week 15: Sunday night Dec. 17th- Dallas Cowboys
Sunday Night Football couldn’t have chosen a better match up than these two former divisional rivals. The Cowboys haven’t visited Glendale, Arizona since 2011, when they lost to the Cardinals 19-13 in overtime. Defense will be vital in this game by shutting out Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cardinals win a close one, 24-21.
Week 16: Dec 24th- Tennessee Titans
This will be the first time the Titans ever played at University of Phoenix Stadium. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is having a phenomenal season in 2017. The Cardinals won’t have an answer. The Titans derail the Cardinals winning streak and come away with a big 34-23 win. The Cardinals suffer their third loss of the season.
Week 17: Dec. 31st- @ Seattle Seahawks
Finishing the season in Seattle (such as last season) is unlikely, but it’s where we finish our predictions. The Seahawks will have a very mediocre season in 2017. It will be up to the NFC West Champion Cardinals to take advantage of Seattle’s failings. For Cardinals fans, the only thing better than a Seahawks demise, is a victory for the Cardinals (especially over the Seahawks). Cardinals win this one, 28-12 and finish off the regular season with a 13-3 record.