The Kliff Kingsbury experiment did not go especially well for Arizona.
After four seasons with the Cardinals, Kingsbury is out and Jonathan Gannon is in. The Cardinals don't come without baggage. Kyler Murray is on a big-money contract and the roster has a lot of holes to fill. But Gannon and new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing think they can unlock Murray's immense potential.
“That was one of the appealing things about this job to me was being able to work with a quarterback of his caliber,” Petzing said after he was hired, per ESPN. Murray is still rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered last season, but he's a huge part of the Cardinals' plan moving forward.
In the NFC West, the 49ers are the gold standard, the Seahawks are trying to compete for the division, and the Rams are hoping to rebound. The Cardinals are anticipated to be near the top of the draft order next year, and their schedule is part of that. They may not have the toughest list of opponents in the league, but it is without question a challenging one.
Here's a look at that schedule this year as the Cardinals attempt to shock the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals schedule 2023
|Week||Date||Opponent||Kickoff time (ET)||TV|
|1||Sept. 10||at Commanders||1 p.m.||Fox|
|2||Sept. 17||vs. Giants||4:05 p.m.||Fox|
|3||Sep. 24||vs. Cowboys||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|4||Oct. 1||at 49ers||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|5||Oct. 8||vs. Bengals||4:05 p.m.||Fox|
|6||Oct. 15||at Rams||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|7||Oct. 22||at Seahawks||4:05 p.m.||Fox|
|8||Oct. 29||vs. Ravens||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 5||at Browns||1 p.m.||CBS|
|10||Nov. 12||vs. Falcons||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 19||at Texans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Nov. 26||vs. Rams||4:05 p.m.||Fox|
|13||Dec. 3||at Steelers||1 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 17||vs. 49ers||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|16||Dec. 24||at Bears||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|17||Dec. 31||at Eagles||1 p.m.||Fox|
Cardinals strength of schedule
With games against the AFC North and the NFC East this year, the Cardinals' out-of-division schedule is less than fun. The Bengals and Ravens aspire to win the AFC, the Browns are entering the second year with Deshaun Watson at the helm, and no one in the NFC East finished below .500 last year. Add to that a division with two playoff teams, and nothing will come easy for the Cardinals this season.
The Cardinals are projected to play the 12th-toughest schedule in the league, per Sharp Football.
Toughest tests: The Cardinals' road schedule is looking very imposing. Pittsburgh and Cleveland are not especially welcoming, Lincoln Financial Field will not provide a friendly homecoming for Gannon, and the the 49ers and Seahawks always draw solid crowds at home.
The Eagles especially will make things difficult on the Cardinals, but the entire NFC East could prove troublesome for Arizona.
Biggest breaks: Finishing in last in the division last year brought the Cardinals' SOS down dramatically. Games against the Bears, Texans, and Falcons will provide a welcome reprieve from a schedule that is otherwise all killer no filler.
Bottom line: Expectations around the Cardinals aren't especially high this year.
They had the third overall pick last year, and to their credit they had an excellent draft in general. But with games against the NFC East and AFC North and more questions than answers on their roster, even if they play above expectations their ceiling likely as a pest.
With that being said, Gannon did solid work with the Eagles defense last season, and teams with great defenses play above expectations all the time. Perhaps with the gimmes on their schedule the Cardinals show what's in store.
Record prediction: 4-13