With the release of the 2023 NFL schedule, fans will begin to circle important games on the calendar. For the Arizona Cardinals, the NFC West remains a critical slate of games. Beyond that, the season has some very compelling opponents. Whether on the road or at home, fans of the Bird Gang will get their fill of some great and interesting matchups.
The Five Most Intriguing 2023 Matches for the Arizona Cardinals
wait for it… pic.twitter.com/EUOQiADL3w
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) May 12, 2023
5. December 24 – Chicago Bears (Road)
Christmas Eve in the Windy City has the potential to be a game fans look back on as a genuine turning point. Quarterback Justin Fields is said to be on the verge of a breakout season, but that has yet to be seen. Fields does have better offensive weapons around him, making their offensive attack on point. The problem is, until we all see it, it’s more rumor than fact. Nearing the end of the season, a healthy Cardinals team beginning to gel could be just enough to go toe-to-toe with Fields. Fans will then know whether the Bears offensive is reality or a mirage. This is a good matchup in late December for Arizona.
4. October 8 – Cincinnati Bengals (Home)
This is no longer your grandfather’s Cincinnati Bungles. The Bengals, coming off of a Super Bowl appearance and an AFC Championship loss at Kansas City, will be a good measuring stick. Bengals-Cardinals comes along at the right time for a mid-season assessment. Kyler Murray should have his knee heeled, and defensively, the Cardinals mix of rookies and veterans will have gelled. This will not be a win. As a matter of fact, this game could be an ugly affair. However, for a team like Arizona, it will show how far they need to go.
NFC West Matches
3. November 26 – Los Angeles Rams (Road)
Week 12 will be the second game the Cardinals play against the Rams, with the NFC West still a question mark top to bottom. Odds are good both LA and Arizona will be battling to stay out of the division cellar as the league heads full steam into the holiday season.
COOP, HE GONE!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 25, 2022
The parallels between these two teams are many. Both are in a rebuild of sorts. Both have the health of their designated starting quarterback to be concerned with. And ultimately, both Los Angeles and the Cardinals are closer to the bottom of the West than the top. A split seems most reasonable with these two teams, as it was in 2022. Not only is this one of the most interesting, it is one of the most important 2023 matches for the Arizona Cardinals.
At Home and on the Road With The NFC East
2. September 24 – Dallas Cowboys (Home)
The Cowboys coming to State Farm Stadium will be the single biggest home gate, revenue wise, in 2023. Dallas, America’s Team, remains the biggest draw no matter where they go outside their division, and week 3 for Arizona is a game that lines up for a win. The Cowboys will have just come off a home game against the Jets and could be looking ahead to New England. Is this a perfect trap game for Dallas? Not really. They should beat Arizona easily, but a big and raucous crowd at State Farm and a habit of losing winnable games makes this contest must-see.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) March 18, 2023
1. September 10 – Washington Commanders (Road)
This Week 1 opener will say a lot about one critical position on the offensive depth chart. Given the fact that Murray will not likely be available, the role of backup quarterback will be under the microscope. Colt McCoy, Jeff Driskel, and rookie Clayton Tune will be under center in Washington. It is also possible that a platoon system could be used for that first game. Regardless, should Muray prove gun shy or fragile, the second guy on the depth chart becomes the most important player in Arizona.
Main Image: Andrew Nelles/Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK