The NFC West plays non-division games against the NFC East and AFC East in 2020 and that means the Arizona Cardinals will face three teams from those division that made the playoffs a year ago (New England, Buffalo and Philadelphia). More importantly, Arizona is tied for the eighth toughest schedule in the league in 2020 (.518). Now, let’s find out what lies ahead for Murray and company in 2020 along with their NFL odds.
NFL Arizona Cardinals Calendar Analysis
While the Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1 SU, 9-5-2 ATS) won ‘just’ five games in 2019, the longtime NFC West residents had one of the most successful campaigns of any team in the NFL in 2019. You see, the rebuilding franchise never quit in their first season under head coach Kliff Kingsbury as rookie quarterback Kyler Murray showed he was definitely worthy of the top overall pick.
Now, as they get set for the upcoming 2020 NFL regular season, there are nothing but positive vibes surrounding the team as they look to improve on their solid first season of the Kingsbury/Murray era.
2020 NFL Odds
Sept. 13: at San Francisco
While I believe Kyler Murray is already a better quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo, I think the Niners are the easy pick to get it done in their regular season and home opener against their NFC West division rivals. Loss.
Sept. 20: vs. Washington
While I’m expecting Washington to be better under Ron Rivera than they ever were under Jay Gruden, I like Kyler Murray to out-perform second-year counterpart Dwayne Haskins to get the win in Week 2. Win.
Sept. 27: vs. Detroit
Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t think very highly of Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who I’m expecting to be fired either during or after the 2020 campaign. Win.
Oct. 4: at Carolina
This is a game that Arizona should have a solid chance of winning outright, but I’m going with the more experienced Teddy Bridgewater and superstar running back Christian McCaffrey to lead the way to victory in this one. Loss.
Oct. 11: at New York Jets
I’m going to get right to the point by saying I expect Kyler Murray to outplay Sam Darnold while Kliff Kingsbury out-coaches counterpart Adam Gase. Arizona wins despite being on the road. Win.
Oct. 19: at Dallas
The Cowboys are loaded on offense and playing at home in a game they need to take care of business in if they want to win the NFC East in 2020. Loss.
Oct. 25: vs. Seattle
The Cards split with the Seahawks last season with each team winning on the road. This time around, Seattle gets its second straight road win over Arizona! Loss.
Nov. 1: BYE
Nov. 8: vs. Miami
Tua Tagovailoa could be under center for the Dolphins in this Week 9 matchup of rebuilding franchises, but Kyler Murray will be the best quarterback on the field and Miami’s pair of Pro Bowl defensive backs will be severely tested in this one by Arizona’s Deandre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald. Win.
Nov. 15: vs. Buffalo
Despite being on the road, Buffalo gets the win as their stout defense keeps Murray and company largely in check throughout this inter-conference clash. Loss.
Nov. 19: at Seattle
I like Seattle to really challenge for the NFC Championship and I believe Russell Wilson will star in this one as the Seahawks take care of business at home to get the regular season sweep. Loss.
Nov. 29: at New England
The Patriots might be playing at home and they might have an elite defense that finished first in points allowed a year ago. However, without Tom Brady under center, I’m expecting Kyler Murray to seriously outplay whomsoever is under center for for New England. Win.
Dec. 6: Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals got swept by the Rams a year ago and they’ll fall on the road in LA, mostly because the Rams can put points on the board and will likely have a fair share of desperation in this division showdown. Loss.
Dec. 13: at New York Giants
I like Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, but the G-Men are doing a pretty horrific job of surrounding him with weapons, not to mention, their head coaching hire looks severely suspect on the surface. Win.
Dec. 20: vs. Philadelphia
The Cardinals might be playing at home, but Philadelphia is more experienced and more mature on both sides of the ball. Arizona puts up a real fight in this affair, but the Birds pull out the high-scoring road win. Loss.
Dec. 27: vs. San Francisco
Arizona fell to San Francisco by a field goal at home last season and I believe the outcome of this week 16 matchup is going to be a nearly identical field goal finish. Loss.
Jan. 3: at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams will likely be desperate in their regular season finale, but I’m not real fond of Jared Goff and I believe that Kyler Murray is the only signal-caller in this affair that is ‘special’ enough to lift his team’s overall play. Arizona gets the huge upset road win against the division rival Rams. Win.
Overall Analysis and Prediction
While Arizona has a half-dozen difficult matchups against their three division rivals and matchups against other tough teams like New England, Philadelphia, Dallas and Buffalo, I like the Cardinals to scratch and claw their way to an impressive seven wins in 2020 while putting up a great effort in every game on their 2020 schedule. Seven victories might not look very impressive on the surface, but for Arizona, it’s another step in the right direction and one I believe they’ll build upon in the near future.
2020 Prediction: 7-9