In a 16-game NFL schedule, every single game is important, but we all know that it is all but impossible to win all of them. The Arizona Cardinals now have their schedule set for the 2013 season and now we can begin to speculate where the team can possibly pick up its wins.
Everyone likes to stay that the team should get off to a hot start, but we saw in 2012 how 4-0 turned out. Of course, 4-0 to start the season usually means playoffs later on, but they still have to win other games.
Quickly, here is the schedule again:
Week 1: Sept 8 AWAY at St. Louis Rams 4:25PM ET
Week 2: Sept 15 HOME vs. Detroit Lions 4:05PM ET
Week 3: Sept 22 AWAY at New Orleans Saints 1:00PM ET
Week 4: Sept 29 AWAY at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:05PM ET
Week 5: Oct 6 HOME vs Carolina Panthers 4:05PM ET
Week 6: Oct 13 AWAY at San Francisco 49ers 4:25PM ET
Week 7: Oct 17 HOME vs Seattle Seahawks 8:25PM ET
Week 8: Oct 27 HOME vs Atlanta Falcons 4:25PM ET
Week 9: Nov 3 BYE
Week 10: Nov 10 HOME vs Houston Texans 4:25PM ET
Week 11: Nov 17 AWAY at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00PM ET
Week 12: Nov 24 HOME vs Indianapolis Colts 4:05PM ET
Week 13: Dec 1 AWAY at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00PM ET
Week 14: Dec 8 HOME vs St. Louis Rams 4:25PM ET
Week 15: Dec 15 AWAY at Tennessee Titans 1:00PM ET
Week 16: Dec 22 AWAY at Seattle Seahawks 4:05PM ET
Week 17: Dec 29 HOME vs San Francisco 49ers 4:25PM ET
Which are the most critical games?
First and foremost, the divisional home games have to be won. That is always the case. You don't want to lose divisional games, especially at home.
The "toughest" non-divisional games will likely be the Saints, the Falcons, the Texans and the Colts. They host all of those but the Saints. If we want the Cardinals to make the playoffs, they viably have to pull out two of those games.
Between their consecutive road contests against the Saints and the Bucs, you would think that they need to win one of those.
Equally critical is their game at Jacksonville. The Jags are expected to be a bad team. You have to beat bad teams.
Since the Cards start with three of their first four on the road, that home opener is also big. Losing that game would make it not unheard of to start the season 0-4.
What games do you see as their most critical?