2014 NFL schedule: The good, the bad and the weird for the Arizona Cardinals

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the good and the bad.

We now know the 2014 Arizona Cardinals schedule. If you don't remember, you can find it here.

To highlight -- the Cardinals have three prime time games. The have their bye week in Week 4. They only have consecutive road games once. The play five NFC West games in the second half of the season, including their final three games.

Now, let's discuss the good and the bad of the schedule.

The good

Obviously, three prime time games will be fun. Opening the season on Monday Night Football should have them fired up. What makes it even better is that they will host two of them -- Week 1 on Monday Night Football and Week 16 on Sunday Night Football, hosting the Seattle Seahawks.

As the Cards will play the AFC West this season, the schedule plays out that they will only play two early games -- Week 2 at the Giants and Week 9 at the Cowboys.

The team will only play consecutive road games only once all season -- Week 12 at Atlanta and Week 13 at Seattle. They will play two home games prior to the the two-game road trip. No back-to-back East Coast games. That, in part, is just because they play the AFC West.

The team will have extra time to prepare for two tough games. With a Week 4 bye week, the Cardinals will get an extra week to prepare for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. They will play Sunday Night Football at home against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16, but they will have had a few extra days to prepare, as they will play on Thursday night in Week 15.

The bad

The bye week is really early. That means the team will have to play 12 straight weeks in a very physical division.

On top of that, the Cards will play five divisional games in the last eight weeks of the season. They have their final three games against the NFC West -- at the Rams on a short week, then at home against the Super Bowl champs and then closing the season at the 49ers. They will be playing five of their most physical games many weeks after their bye. They are going to be one very tired and sore team.

The team's Thursday Night Football game in Week 15 is on the road. That historically is a huge handicap to overcome. Luckily, they will have played at home the prior Sunday.

The weird

While it is cool to have the season start on Monday Night Football, the scheduling ends up a little odd. The Cards and Chargers will play on consecutive weeks. They close the preseason in San Diego and open the regular season at home. While that final preseason game will have very few starters for either team in the game, it will be strange to see them line up against one another two straight games.

Somehow, the Cardinals manage to play a late game (2:05 start time) while on the East Coast in Atlanta. That is a practically a prime time game for the local folks.

As a TV fact, Arizona's games will only air once on CBS all season. The game at home against the Chiefs is the only one. That normally doesn't happen.

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