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Glancing at the 2015 opponents

Posted by Darren Urban on July 14, 2014 – 2:46 pm

You know that it’s the dead of the offseason — real dead — when it comes to mind to point out who will be on the Cardinals’ schedule for 2015.

But here we are, inside of two weeks before training camp begins and a week away from the quarterbacks and a handful of other players reporting for a couple of days of “quarterback school” prior to the opening of camp. It’s the last hurrah for time off for both coaches and players. It doesn’t leave a lot to discuss right now. That’s all coming. But as I flipped through the new edition of the NFL Record and Fact Book, I came across the 2015 opponents for the Cardinals. So I thought I’d point them out.

As always, there are the home-and-away games against the NFC West opponents. The teams visiting University of Phoenix Stadium include the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals and then an NFC South team that ends up inhabiting the same position in their division that the Cardinals do in the NFC West by the time the 2014 season is over.

Road trips in 2015 for the Cardinals include the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the corresponding NFC East team.

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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Glancing at the 2015 opponents”

  1. By BigAl on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Holy Cow Darren! Not even ready to look at 2015 opponents! How about some analysis as to the uncoming season opponents! I know we will be facing the AFC
    West teams etc…How about something to stir conversation along those lines?
    Thanks! AL

  2. By Darren Urban on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    BigAl —

    RE: 2014 opponents

    I probably will. But other than saying, these are the teams, I’m not sure what else there is to say.

  3. By Dr. G. on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, Some of us appreciate that you even moderate during this dead time from your beach chair in Malibu… with the family, of course….

  4. By Nic on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    So the Cardinals play the Lions 4 years in a row… Is that right?

  5. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Well at least this offseason you didn’t say we should be able to beat the Rams.;)

  6. By Scott H on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Not that winning games is ever simple in the NFL, but the story of this season for the Cardinals is VERY simple in theory – they have to beat the teams in their division. They are more than capable of beating EVERY OTHER TEAM on their schedule if they are AT LEAST as good as they were last year. Winning the games in their division ( or NOT winning them ) is what will determine where the Cardinals will stand at the end of this year. It IS that simple, in theory. It matters more in the NFC West than in any other division. Because they were about a minute away from being 11-5 overall ( would have been 3-3 in the division if they finished 11-5 ) and STILL probably missing the playoffs.

    In THIS division, 11-5 MIGHT not get you into the playoffs. Stone cold reality. That means 12-4 might be necessary, ESPECIALLY if last season repeats itself and the Seahawks, Niners, AND Cardinals are all as good as they were on the days their respective seasons ended. So, if any more than 4 losses might put you on the outside looking in because of the division you play in, YOU BETTER BEAT THE TEAMS IN THAT DIVISION. The Cards were 2-4 last year. That will NOT be good enough in 2014. They need to be at least 4-2 in their six division games.

    Sad to think that last season could repeat itself in 2014 and a team from the NFC West will be out while teams winning the East and North ( none of whom will be as good as the Cardinals should be ) will be in as division winners. Think about it – the WORST position ANY team in the NFC could probably be in at the end of this season will be 3rd place in the NFC West. And who was that last year? The Cardinals. Better than half the teams that went to the playoffs but still sitting at home, watching the games on TV. That is why they have to finish AT LEAST 2nd in the division this year, and THAT is why they HAVE TO win those games.

  7. By Oliver Wiley on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Love my Cardinals even though I live in Germantown Maryland!!! Superbowl Champs 2015!!!!

  8. By WVcardFan on Jul 14, 2014 | Reply

    Nic, that actually happens a lot. Cards played the Panthers (’07-’11) and Vikings (’08-’12) five years in a row. The Patriots played the Colts an amazing 10 years in a row from ’03-’12.

  9. By BigAl on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    WVcardFan
    Wow, thank you WV. I did not actually know that? However, I do remember us playing the Panthers a mess of times the last few years! In fact weren’t we the last team to beat them last year before they went on they’re 8 game win streak?
    Whats up with that? Do you know anything about WVcardFan’s claim Darren?
    Thanks!

  10. By jeffgollin on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    (Aside from the issue of “when and where we play whom”), the only thing I zero in on are the teams on our schedule who are non-common with the other teams in our division. I believe this boils down to two teams – Detroit and Atlanta.

    The Rams draw Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

    The Niners draw Chicago and New Orleans

    The Seahawks draw Green Bay and Carolina

    I’m not sure I’d give advantage of schedule to anyone in our division.

  11. By BigAl on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    jeffgollin
    Nice analysis Jeff! Looks like the Rams got the best draw! The rest of division looks fairly equal…

  12. By BigAl on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    jeffgollin
    You know what Jeff, I did not know this but if you look closer…regarding the non-common teams…they are all from the same division…(the NFC North) & the match-ups are equal to where each team placed last year in they’re respective divisions!
    Learned something new again! That makes great sense! Makes it very fair!
    As you stated with the exception of home vs away…interesting!

  13. By Scott H on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    JeffGollin –

    Oh, I would definitely have to give the Rams an advantage there. The Vikings and Buccs figure to be among the most offensively challenged teams in the league, barring anything un-forseen. Who is the Vikings QB??? I don’t even know. Josh McCown had a ball in Chicago last year but figures to look more like Josh McCown this year. I definitely take the Rams to win both. Some believe the Rams actually have the best front 7 in the NFL right now. They could be a last place team in the NFC West and maybe good enough to win some other divisions!

    Heck, the Cardinals probably have the toughest draw since the Lions figure to be better and the Falcons should bounce right back with their WR’s healthy. Cards will be good enough to win both.

    Seahawks? The Panthers have to fall back with so little recognizable talent at WR and the same old RB tandem they had when they played the Cards in the 2008 playoffs. I mean, did Jonathan Stewart even play last year at all??? And the Packers are no sure thing. Hard to trust Rodgers being healthy for a whole season and their defense is middle of the pack ( no pun intended ) at best. The Seahawks win both.

    Niners? The Saints will always be in every game with Brees at QB. Who knows with the Bears? I just don’t trust Cutler enough – his ability OR his health – to get behind the Bears. I take the Niners to win both.

    The NFC West is just that good. Their toughest competition comes from among themselves. And ya know what? IF the Cardinals don’t win the division, I hope the Niners do. Because I just hate Pete Carroll and the damn Seahawks that much. Heck with San Fran, at least I could be happy for Anquan Boldin….

    But right now, I concede nothing! The Cardinals are a legit contender for this division AND the NFC title. Who knows….maybe they make the Super Bowl a home game!

  14. By BigAl on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H
    Wow Scott excellent analysis you took the words right out of my mouth & restated
    them better than I ever could…For the life of me its a head scratcher as to the whole revamping of the Panthers WR core? Ya think Greg Olsen will see a lot of balls this year? I liked the Kelvin Benjamin pick that will help the WR deficit but for this season…how often does a rookie WR light it up? I even liked their 2nd Rnd pick of Kony Ealy…(had hopes of getting him here) so I still think they have the best defensive front seven…That said, didn’t they have as big a need as us @
    Tackle???
    The Rams had that extra RGIII pick but I felt Holy Cow did the draft fall incredibly well for them, a much needed giant (Orlando Pace) type/size tackle… I hated it when Aaron Donald DT fell to them @ 13…then Lamarcus Joyner CB & RB Tre Mason!!! They had a great draft I felt & yet no WR help?!?
    The Rams Defensive front 7 is scary!
    As far as Falcons a lot will depend on whether Julio Jones is healthy? All I keep hearing is Atlanta is playing it safe w/him…Like we are w/Mathieu?

    Its a tuf draw…I agree, I think any team from our division could win or at least earn a playoff birth in half of the other divisions!

    Hope yer right hope this years SB is a home game!!!

  15. By br in nc on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    I posted right after the draft that the Rams could very well win the division, they had one heck of a draft (thanks again to the Deadskins and the RGIII draft day, draft pick giveaway!) I would argue that the Rams front seven is firmly top three in the league, and would not rule out them having top front seven, there season hinges on two issues, great draft picks (on paper anyway) usually take a season or two before they gel or reach there full potential, and the other huge question for Rams, is Sam Bradford the QB to lead them to the top of NFC BEST. Ihave already predicted/went out on a limb and said Rams will not finish last in division this year, either 2nd or 3rd (with a slim chance to take division crown if Bradford plays outside his mind this year) Top spot in West is a toss-up in my humble opinion! I believe it is going to take a little bit of pure luck as well…My prediction:
    Cardinals (yes a little bias, well deserved bias as a lifelong Cardinal fan dating back to the St Louis days, my first memories

    of rooting for my beloved Cardinals being the early 70’s!! Would have been a much easier pick if we had even 1 of our ILB’s on the field from last year, Right side of our O-line scares the heck out of me as is.
    Rams – Monster draft (at least on paper) that makes 2 years in a row! Real argument that the Rams have the best front defensive 7 in the NFL! WR corps is very impressive and super athletic!!
    Seahawks -

  16. By br in nc on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    Seahawks- didn’t make any upgrades in my opinion, plus they have that huge champions bullseye square on there back as all teams who try to defend there title!
    4Niners – Same as Seahawks above, didn’t add much to improve, as well lost some key pieces in free agency. But beware of M. Lattimore, the RB out of S. Carolina, if he comes in fully recovered from wrecking his knee in college then look out, people will be saying…Frank Gore, who????

  17. By br in nc on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    Is there anybody out in cyber space that is totally comfortable and confident in the Right side of the Cardinals O-line. as is going into camp?? I think the Right side of our O-line. is our biggest weakness/unknown, even if my favorite to win the starting RT job (Sleepless) prevails and emerges as the starting RT, I still can’t rest easy, just to many questions remain on that Right side, I have a “funny” (for lack of a better word) feeling that our ILB weakness will be ok, Minter will surprise and I think our defense as a unit will prevail, schemes from TB’ s vast defensive mind will prove its worth this year. But I would think offensive schemes to cover for a huge weakness on the O-line have to be few and far between, hell I wouldn’t object to seeing 2 RT on the field at same time (one being tackle eligible) and just run 1 TE on the left, whatever works I guess! Anyone think they have any insight to what BA may do if the Right side turns out to be a huge weakness?? I would think scouring the waiver wire after each round of cuts and churning the bottom of the roster and hope for “miracles” like last years late signings, or maybe we get lucky and the 2 new additions we have at TE are better blockers than advertised, and we have bookends at TE (I believe Ballard is going to shock quite a few defenses and will excel at one TE spot, and will be a key weapon in BA’s offense, as well as hold his own blocking on the left side ( which shouldn’t need a monster blocker with Coop & Veldeheer holding down the left side!) Its going to be very interesting ladies & gents!!

  18. By br in nc on Jul 15, 2014 | Reply

    ****AUTOCORRECT AT IT AGAIN****

    (Sleepless is NOT my favorite to win RT job!!! Should read SOWELL. *Man I just don’t get where this autocorrect pulls some of these words out of thin air!!!) Sleepless…to danger funny!!!

  19. By Scott H on Jul 16, 2014 | Reply

    br in nc –

    Gotta say I would love to agree with you but I don’t. The Seahawks may not have improved significantly anywhere. OK. Um, did you happen to see the Super Bowl? Then, can you tell me where they possibly needed to improve??? They are damn solid and it’s not like they are getting old. They also did not LOSE anything that takes away from them ANYWHERE. They are as good as they are right now because they have drafted so damn well, so they have a whole draft class of guys who we don’t even know about yet. Marshawn Lynch still has another year, maybe two, as a top notch stud RB and as long as he is healthy, this team is a beast. They are young, fast, aggressive, hard-hitting, and stacked with talent. Now, if Lynch is lost to injury or suddenly hits the wall….different story.

    San Fran? I know they had some departures, but…not anyone who TRULY takes them down a peg. I consider WR Stevie Johnson to be an excellent addition to a position that already has Michael Crabtree ( who will be ready to go in Week 1, BTW, NOT Week 11 or 12 like last year ), Anquan Boldin, and Vernon Davis. That is targets galore for Kaepernick. They still have one of the best O-lines in the NFL and Frank Gore is still rock solid dependable. Not as young as Seattle but still just as scary. That NFC title game was right there for them last year until that in-explicably bad play call that led to the INT that ended the game. If Seattle hadn’t gone to the SB and crushed Denver, San Fran would have. And they were IN the SB the year before. I don’t see them falling off right now.

    It will be interesting to see if Seattle can avoid the hangover that almost always affects the champs the following year. We can hope for some of that. But here is what I REALLY hope for – I hope that even if the Seahawks and Niners are every bit as good as they have been the last few years, the Cardinals have risen up to their level and are ready to make a case for being as good as the NFC has to offer. And the games they played in Weeks 16 and 17 last year tell me they sure look like they are!

    I don’t want to have to hope other teams will fall back. I want my team to run them down from behind!

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