The Arizona Cardinals will enter the 2020 season following an extremely strong offseason, where in the words of general manager Steve Keim, he has “fixed” the former 31st ranked defense with a plethora of offseason additions.
Week 1: @49ers
While this will be a close game, the Cardinals will take a bit to get adjusted to playing with each other, especially after an offseason with less team activity than normal. Arizona will make a strong 4th quarter comeback, but it won’t be enough.
Prediction: L, 21-28
Week 2: Redskins
The Cardinals bounce back in their home opener, taking advantage of a team with a new head coach, and presumably a starting QB, who only started 8 games in 2019. Newly drafted do it all defender, Isaiah Simmons, will have a huge game.
Prediction: W, 35-24
Week 3: Lions
The Cardinals begin to tee off on opposing QBs. The Lions O-line cannot handle Chandler Jones, Jordan Phillips, and former Lion, Devon Kennard, as the Cardinals rack up 6 sacks at home and move to 2-1.
Prediction: W, 31-21
Week 4: @Panthers
While Panthers superstar RB Christian McCaffrey will cause headaches for the defense throughout the game, the Panthers horrid defense is not able to stop Kyler Murray, who has his best game as a pro, recording over 500 total yards and 4 TDs.
Prediction: W, 41-28
Week 5: @Jets
The Cardinals, in their second straight road game on the East coast, lose in a tight game to the Jets. This serves as a wake-up call, and the Cardinals lock-in as they prepare for the long week to take on Dallas on MNF.
Prediction: L, 21-24
Week 6: @Cowboys
The Cardinals rush out to a 14-0 lead on prime-time television, while the Cowboys attempt to make a late comeback, 2nd year CB Byron Murphy makes a game-sealing INT in the final minutes, proving the Cardinals legitimacy to the rest of the nation as they improve to 4-2.
However, QB Kyler Murray, who is in the MVP race, re-aggravates his hamstring in the 4th, sidelining him until after the bye.
Prediction: W, 34-24
Week 7: Seahawks
The Brent Hundley led Cardinals can’t repeat the upset they pulled in 2018, as they lose a close one before their bye.
Prediction: L, 17-27
Week 8: Bye (Record 4-3)
Week 9: Dolphins
The Cardinals, ready to make a playoff push after their bye week, go all out on rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa; racking up 7 sacks, and Kyler Murray throws for over 400 yards once again.
Prediction: W, 34-24
Week 10: Bills
The Bills, who are AFC favorites along with the Chiefs, are too much for the Cardinals. While they put up a respectable effort, they can’t replicate the performance they put up a week prior.
Prediction: L, 17-24
Week 11: @Seahawks
Russell Wilson, who had been the favorite for MVP, suffers a torn ACL in the first quarter. Without their star QB and having to rely on Geno Smith, the Seahawks aren’t able to keep up with Kyler Murray, who throws 3 TDs to Deandre Hopkins, putting the Cardinals at 6-3 in the homestretch of the season.
Prediction: W, 35-14
Week 12: @Patriots
The Cardinals are not able to handle the Foxborough cold. While Chandler Jones puts himself in front of the DPOY race, but Jarrett Stidham leads a game-winning drive in the last 2 minutes of the 4th. Kyler Murray launches a Hail Mary to the end zone towards Deandre Hopkins as time expires, but an obvious pass interference call is missed.
Prediction: L, 24-28
Week 13: Rams
The Cardinals easily steamroll the Rams, a team that has not looked the same since their 2018 Super Bowl loss. Larry Fitzgerald reaches 1,449 career receptions, putting him just 100 behind Jerry Rice for 1st all time.
Prediction: W, 35-20
Week 14: @Giants
In the 2nd edition of Daniel Jones vs Kyler Murray, the Cardinals win again. Isaiah Simmons has his best game as a pro, recording an INT, sack, and FF, helping the Cardinals improve to 9-4.
The Cards are one of the 4 teams vying for one of the 3 Wild Card spots, along with the Falcons, Eagles, and Vikings.
Prediction: W, 35-28
Week 15: Eagles
The Cardinals and Eagles, both sitting at 9-4, battle in a very important game, as the winner clinches a seed in the playoffs. While Arizona fights hard, their usually consistent pass rush is unable to pressure Carson Wentz as much as normal due to the Eagles amazing O-line.
The Cardinals travel home for a game that will decide their playoff fate.
Prediction: L, 21-28
Week 16: 49ers
The Cardinals get back on track with a win against the 49ers, after Budda Baker takes his first career INT back for a TD in OT. The Cardinals lock up a playoff spot.
While Kyler Murray has fallen out of the MVP race after another good but not great performance, the Red Sea looks for Chandler Jones and Isaiah Simmons to cement their candidacy for DPOY and DROY.
Prediction: W, 33-27
Week 17: @Rams
The Cardinals have already guaranteed a playoff spot, so they pull most of their starters. However, Isaiah Simmons has a monster game in a Cardinals loss, recording an INT, FF, sack, and TD. This performance puts him in the front seat for the DROY award, an award that he does in fact win.
Prediction: L, 28-31
The Cardinals win in the Wild Card round against the Cowboys in an OT thriller, but fall to the eventual Super Bowl-winning Saints in the divisional round.
Isaiah Simmons wins the DROY award, and both Kyler Murray and Chandler Jones finish in 3rd for MVP and DPOY.
Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images