Updated: Sep 12
Cover photo: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray calls plays during a Cardinals preseason game.
Cover photo credit: Jess Root, USA Today
This is going to be a big season for the Arizona Cardinals. This will be the fourth year of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray Experiment, and so far, the results have been underwhelming. In the prior three seasons, the Cardinals have missed the playoffs twice, with last season being the only season where they were able to make the playoffs. This is despite the Cardinals falling off a cliff at the end of the season by losing six of their last ten games and four of their last five. The playoff berth did not end up mattering though, as the Cardinals would get embarrassed by the Rams by a score of 34-11.
The Cardinals did not seem to get the memo on how significant of a season this really is. Not only is their investment in their defense amongst the lowest in the league, but they also decided to extend head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim through the 2027 season, despite both men being mediocre at best throughout their time with the Cardinals organization.
Here, I will go through every game of the Cardinals season and predict whether they will win or lose. Then, at the end of the season, we will check back and see how accurate I was.
Week 1: vs. Kansas City Chiefs - L
Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid will be too much for the Cardinals' thin defense. This one could get out of hand.
Week 2: @ Las Vegas Raiders - L
The Raiders are pretty strong everywhere, and Derek Carr is absolutely good enough to pick-on the Cardinals' no-name cornerbacks. Oh, and they have a receiver named Davante Adams. Good luck.
Week 3: vs. Los Angeles Rams - L
Sean McVay was hired in 2017. Since then, the Cardinals are 1-10 against the Rams. Those are not good numbers, and that trend has no reason to change in 2022.
Week 4: @ Carolina Panthers - W
This was a tough one to decide, but I have to think that the Cardinals will be tired of losing at this point, so they will go all-in in an attempt to beat what should be a weak Panthers team. The Cardinals have historically been snake-bit against the Panthers, though, so this game could go either way.
Week 5: vs. Philadelphia Eagles - W
I have had a very hard time pinning down how good the Eagles are going to be this season, but for whatever reason, most season predictions for the Eagles have them losing to the Cardinals. This is despite the fact that these same predictions have the Eagles being a 10-11 win team. Regardless, I'll give the redbirds the win in week 5.
Week 6: @ Seattle Seahawks - W
The Seahawks are going to be very bad; in fact, I think that they will be so bad that they will get swept in divisional play. Cardinals win this one.
Week 7: vs. New Orleans Saints - W
I actually like Jameis Winston. I think he did a good job last year with the Saints before his injury and showed a lot of growth. With that said, he was being coached by one of the best quarterback whisperers in the history of football in Sean Payton, and this season, he isn't. I don't know that I trust the Saints' new coach, or any part of the team for that matter.
Week 8: @ Minnesota Vikings - L
The Vikings seem to have all the pieces to be a pretty good team this season and maybe even win their division. However, Vikings fans will be the first to admit that they have had that look before but always seem to find a way to disappoint in the end. Still, I think they'll be good enough to beat the Cardinals, especially in front of their home-crowd.
Week 9: vs. Seattle Seahawks - W
The Seahawks are still bad. Cardinals win.
Week 10: @ Los Angeles Rams - L
Sean McVay still coaches the Rams. Cardinals lose.
Week 11: vs. San Francisco 49ers - W
I think the 49ers are going to be pretty good and could challenge the Rams for the division. Still, for some reason, I feel like the Cardinals will split their series with the 49ers, and the Cardinals seem more likely to win this one than their week 18 matchup.
Week 12: vs. Los Angeles Chargers - L
The Chargers are going to be stacked pretty much everywhere, and I think that they would be a Superbowl favorite if people trusted head coach Brandon Staley more. Despite Staley's occasional antics, the Chargers will simply be too talented for the Cardinals, and most other teams, to compete with.
Week 13: Bye
Week 14: vs. New England Patriots - W
Betting against Bill Belichick is risky, but I just don't see how the Patriots are any good this year. Even if they turn out to be fine, it's still a good matchup for the Cardinals, as the Cardinals thin defense will be balanced out by the Patriots horrifically untalented offense.
Week 15: @ Denver Broncos - L
The Broncos are going to be very good, although I'm not sure they will be as good as some people think due to their young and inexperienced coaching staff. Still, the Broncos will be talented enough to beat the Cardinals, especially since their leader, quarterback Russel Wilson, knowns a thing or two about beating the Cardinals.
Week 16: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - L
I think that the Buccaneers are going to take a step back this season due to coaching changes and offensive line losses, but the step will not be big enough to cause a loss to the Cardinals.
Week 17: @ Atlanta Falcons - W
The Falcons will be bad, with some people thinking that they could be the worst team in the league. I know that it's the end of the season where the Kingsbury-led Cardinals have historically struggled mightily, but I don't think that the struggles will be so bad that they lose to what could be a team with the first overall pick in the 2023 draft already locked-up.
Week 18: @ San Francisco 49ers - L
I already said that I thought that the Cardinals will split their series with the 49ers, so I have them losing this matchup because of the aforementioned end-of-season struggles by the Kliff/Kyler Cardinals. With this loss, the Cardinals would have lost five of their last eight and three of their last four. That sounds like them, doesn't it?
So, there you have it. I actually ended up giving the Cardinals more wins here than I expected to. Still, I don't think that they are going to be good, and they will definitely miss the playoffs.