The NFL dedicated an entire show to releasing the 2010 regular season schedule on Tuesday, where we found out when the Cardinals would play their 2010 opponents. It's amazing that something so simple as the schedule gets so much attention - and like the NFL junkies that we are, we desperately injected a dose of the NFL for a brief high once the schedule was announced. Here are some of my initial thoughts.
Is the Cardinals schedule favorable?
Yes. Apparently they have the easiest schedule in the league based on their opponent's 2009 record(114-142). When you play four playoff teams from last year, including the defending Super Bowl champs, I call that a challenging schedule. After all, no game in the NFL is "easy", however when you play in the NFC West and then throw in the Chiefs, Raiders, and Bucs, all of a sudden the schedule doesn't seem so bad. In short - I'll take it.
A Christmas Match Up on NFL Network
The NFL obviously saw this match up as a potential rematch of the game that was played between these two teams at University of Phoenix Stadium just two years ago. That game, the Cardinals blocked a Cowboys punt in overtime and returned the loose ball into the endzone for a game-winning touchdown. Two other things come to mind: Other then last season, Tony Romo and the Cowboys have notoriously fallen apart in the month of December, and I wonder how many Cardinal fans will be able to watch the game with it falling on Christmas and being on NFL network.
No Cardinals/49ers rivalry game till week 12
After opening the season against the 49ers for the last four seasons, the feeling will be odd when the Cardinals travel to St. Louis to face the Rams week one. I do like the fact that the Cardinals can get out to a quick start by facing the lowly Rams, while also starting off 1-0 on the road and in their division. However, I am compelled to say that I enjoyed beginning the season in a competitive match up with our division rival. Now both teams will meet up in the twelfth week of the season after both have established records and are vying for first place in the division.
Only two prime time games?
It strikes me as odd that the defending NFC West champs only received two prime time games. I figured the Cardinals would face the 49ers in one of them, which they do week 12 on Monday Night Football. The other is the Christmas game against the Cowboys, which should garnish plenty of national attention. Luckily both games are also at home, but I can't help but feel bothered that the 49ers were given four prime time games. Based on last year, we do know that the NFL can flex games, meaning the Cardinals could be inserted into another prime time slot - my guess would be the road game against the Vikings.
Overall I'm happy with the schedule. The Cardinals will get the bye during week six, which is a good spot if you ask me. I also like the road games. Other then the trip to Carolina - which shouldn't be as hard as year's past - the Cardinals won't do a lot of traveling and don't have any East coast games. What are your thoughts on the 2010 schedule? Do you see any games that could get flexed into prime time?