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Breaking Down the Arizona Cardinals 2009 Schedule

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The NFL released the schedule for the 2009 season yesterday and the big question for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans was, how many primetime games would we receive. Well we got that answer and many more last night. Here's a complete look at the schedule along with some random thoughts.

Date Opponent Time
Sun 9/13 San Francisco 4:15 pm
Sun 9/20 @ Jacksonville 1:00 pm
Sun 9/27 Indianapolis 8:20 pm
BYE
Sun 10/11 Houston 4:15 pm
Sun 10/18 @Seattle 4:05 pm
Sun 10/25 @ NY Giants 8:20 pm
Sun 11/1 Carolina 4:15 pm
Sun 11/8 @ Chicago 1:00 pm
Sun 11/15 Seattle 4:15 pm
Sun 11/22 @ St. Louis 4:05 pm
Sun 11/29 @ Tennessee 1:00 pm
Sun 12/6 Minnesota 4:15 pm
Mon 12/14 @ San Francisco 8:30 pm
Sun 12/20 @ Detroit 1:00 pm
Sun 12/27 St. Louis 4:05 pm
Sun 1/3 Green Bay 4:15 pm

The Good

  • The first is obvious, three prime time games, two of which are Sunday affairs with Al Michaels and John Madden making the call (someone get a picture with the "Horse Trailer"); the MNF 49ers-Cardinals tradition continues as well on December 14. The Sunday night contests against Indy and the Giants will draw national attention on NBC.
  • Luckily for the Cardinals, the NFL Network didn't think they were worthy of a Thursday night game. Considering that a Thanksgiving day game led to last year's late season swoon, I'm not the least bit disappointed in that. 
  • The Cardinals most likely dodged the cold weather bullet with road contests in New York and Chicago coming in late October and early November, though wind could be a factor in Chicago that time of year.
  • Three of the first four at home against just one playoff team from a year ago. The Cards needed a fast start last year and they'll need to get out of the gates quickly again in 2009.
  • For those hoping that the Cardinals finish the season strong, the schedule gives them some help with two home games to close the season.

The Bad

  • Getting a bye in the fourth week of the season flat out stinks (but not as much as the Week 1 bye in '01!). They might need it after a big game against the Colts but after just three games I doubt many players will be looking forward to a week off. 
  • Back to back road games three different times during the season will seriously test a team that still trying to prove that they can win on the road. The hardest back to back will be a road game in Seattle followed by a east coast trip to New York to face the Giants in a Sunday night game. 
  • The middle of the season will be tough on the Cardinals considering that seven of ten games are on the road. The worst stretch is a five game tear that will feature four road games with only a home contest against the Vikings sandwiched in the middle.