For the 2017 season for the Arizona Cardinals there are plenty of excuses. One excuse that cannot be made however was how easy their schedule was.
When the opponents were set last year, the Cardinals were to have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, ranking 23rd out of the 32 teams with ease of schedule. This was in March, before a down was played based on the opponents and last years results.
Well, through 15 games, heading into the final game of the season, the Cardinals finished with one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, as they are 28th in strength of schedule in 2017.
That didn’t help them too much, unless it did because they wouldn’t have finished at or near .500 with a more difficult schedule.
Well, for 2018, the Arizona Cardinals opponents are set:
Our 2018 opponents are set.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 27, 2017
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On paper, the Cardinals have an exciting schedule, getting the NFC North and AFC West, two disappointing divisions in 2017.
They also get a team that could be in some flux in the Washington Redskins, this time at home.
However, the meat of their schedule will come from the potential improvements of the Packers, hello Aaron Rodgers, the progression and likely new coach for the Chicago Bears, and the unknown of the Detroit Lions, who could be looking at a new coach.
Add in that the Denver Broncos are already linked to Kirk Cousins, the Chargers are a number of kicks away from being a playoff team and the Chiefs have the wild card of Patrick Mahomes sitting in their back pocket, and the Cardinals could be flipped from one of the easiest to most difficult schedules in 2018. Oh, and the Oakland Raiders still have a pretty decent team
On the otherside, as a fan, you have to be excited. Home games look like fun matchups while they could get some great destination games for road trips, as long as Kansas City and Green Bay are not in the winter.