The NFL season has officially begun. And our Arizona Cardinals are seeking to make the playoffs in a second straight season for only the third time since the franchise relocated to Phoenix.
The Cardinals won 11 games in 2021, but ran up against the Los Angeles Rams and were beaten soundly in the NFL Wild Card Game, 34-11. The Rams will once again serve as Arizona’s primary challenger for the top spot in the NFC West.
The Arizona Cardinals Schedule opened at State Farm Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs in what proved to be a huge challenge to start the 2022-23 season.
Cardinals’ Odds to Win NFC West
The Cardinals were defeated by the Seahawks in the final regular season game of the year last season to lose an opportunity to capture the division. Following a 7-0 start to the season, Kliff Kingsbury’s team limped to a 4-6 finish and had to watch as the Rams and 49ers each won playoff games. The NFC West should again be a three-team race this season.
What to Expect from the Cardinals This Season
All eyes will be on quarterback, Kyler Murray. The AZ quarterback has increased his pass efficiency every season of his career, and he’s lowered his interceptions from 12 to ten. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year lifted his QB rating above 100 last year, and he’s earned the respect of his offense and the entire roster. Like any NFL team with a fourth-year QB, there will be questions about Murray’s development, but so far, Murray has met every challenge and shown that he has what it takes to be a winning signal-caller.
Murray may never be an elite passer in the NFL, but he makes remarkably astute observations for a young man who has yet to reach the quarter-century mark. If he continues to progress, the Cardinals will be a playoff-caliber team for years to come.
With veteran tight end Zach Ertz showing little signs that he’s lost his skills, the Cards’ passing attack, both short and deep, will be formidable. Ertz should improve on his 11-game total from a year ago that saw him grab 56 catches for 574 yards after coming over from the Eagles.
Toss in a quintet of talented wideouts with DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, A.J. Green, and Antoine Wesley, and Murray will find many sets of hands to fire the ball to.
However, the status of Hopkins still remains uncertain: he apparently was suspended for six games by the league for violating the NFL’s rules on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL Players Association is denying the validity of those claims, so it remains to be seen how long the Arizona WR will be off the field.
But even without Hopkins (eight TDs in ten games last season), the Cardinals have plenty of other options to catch the ball. Second-year receiver Rondale Moore is expected to get more snaps this year, whether Hopkins is around or not. Moore has the breakaway speed and toughness to be a very good pass-catcher in the NFL.
The Cardinals started the 2022-23 season with a tough home contest against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. That’s only one of the toughest games of the Cardinals’ 2022-23 season that will test Kingsbury and his roster.
But, while the Bird Gang dropped off in the second half of the season a year ago, the roster has talent, especially at skill positions. There’s no reason the Cards can’t match last season’s win total.
Betting on the Cardinals this NFL Season
Arizona sports bettors can wager on the Cardinals in many ways, including moneyline bets, against the spread, over/under, and parlay bets. You can also hop on a futures bet, such as whether the Cardinals will win the NFC West, or the NFC or capture their first Super Bowl win.
Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire