Bright lights, big schedule for 2014

Posted by Darren Urban on April 23, 2014 – 6:05 pm

The Cardinals know when they are playing their games and they know people will be watching. The 2014 schedule has been announced and it includes the prime-time games that the Cards have been pining for. Monday night to open the season at home? Bruce Arians couldn’t have drawn it up any better. And while the Dec. 11 Thursday night game in St. Louis is no picnic, at least the Cards are coming off a home game against Kansas City. Plus, it will give the Cards an extra few days before hosting Seattle in “Sunday Night Football” on Dec. 21.

There is little reason to completely analyze a schedule because, frankly, it can mean little when the games are played months from now. Still, there are takeaways to note (and here is a schedule you can print/download):

— Cool to open on Monday night in a home game. Last time the Cards opened on a Monday night, it was Ken Whisenhunt’s debut in 2007 in San Francisco. Could’ve been a win if Eric Green had just fallen on the ball.

— Strange, however, to open with a team you just closed the preseason with. My guess is that the starters might not even play in the preseason finale now, as opposed to their usual one series.

— Season closes with three straight division games. Given this era of the NFC Best, perhaps that’s only fitting.

— Bye week in Week 4. Early. Too early? Well, given that it is after what figures to be a rough-and-tumble 49ers game and gives the Cards two weeks to prep for Peyton Manning, maybe it’s just right.

— No more than two straight weeks either at home or on the road. Can’t complain there.

— It could be chilly in Seattle in late November. Maybe SF in late December too, although Santa Clara will be warmer than the ‘stick. But New York in September is perfect, Denver in early October … weather should not be a factor.

But now that the schedule is out, I guess it’s time for the draft. It’s always something, right?

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 43 Comments »

43 Responses to “Bright lights, big schedule for 2014”

  1. By ralph on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    I would of liked to seen Denver or New York come here.

  2. By louis on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    after seeing the schedule the cards will go 6 10 this year.

  3. By Darren Urban on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Louis —

    RE: “After seeing”

    After seeing your latest comment, you’ve convinced me you are just a troll. Thanks for coming.

  4. By Andy Kw on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Areas of concern:
    SS, OL, ILB
    -We don’t have a starting safety. We need experience from a veteran in FA and a potential starter in the NFL Draft (Deone Bucannon).
    -We need Eric Winston back at Right Tackle unless Bobby Massie displays more consistency. Earl Watford better play at the same or higher level than Paul Fanaika. If we are still unsure, it would be best to keep Fanaika as the starter.
    -Lets see Kevin Minter in action. I would love for Arians to consider changing Sam Acho into an ILB. He has proven when healthy that he can intercept the pass. He is atheltic and can play at the same level as Karlos Dansby. Marcus Benard is a potential starter and I would be more satisfied to see Sam Acho, Marcus Benard, and Kevin Minter battle for that starting job. Kevin Minter needs to earn it. Don’t just give him the job because he was a second round pick. College is not the same as the Pros.

  5. By Scott on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    What the draft should look like if the cardinals traded there first for Texans 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

    2nd – Dee Ford OLB, Auburn- Dee Ford can fall in our laps at pick 33 if a couple teams pass on him. Great edge rusher and we know he doesn’t lack confidence with him saying that he’s better than Clowney. If he isn’t there get Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri.

    2nd- Deone Buchannon, S, Washington State- Hard hitting SS while he can still play the ball in the air, he will miss some tackles at times but worth the pick even though I believe Tony Jefferson is as good as any safety in the draft. If Deone isn’t there, trade down.

    3rd – Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina- My favorite pick in the draft. I was watching his combine and I was astonished of this multi-sport athlete even before I knew he’s cousins with Andre Ellington. Fast, great hands, and if Arians believes he’s to small to play WR at 5’9, he could gain about 25 lbs and switch to RB. Great pick!!

    3rd – Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU- Strong arm, Carson Palmer like, and fits Arians offense pretty well. Other teams are going to stay away from a player coming off a big injury but I believe he’s proven himself at his pro day and I hope Arians is fine with letting this former LSU quarterback sit for a few years and develop.

    4th – Daniel Mccullers, DT, Tennessee- 6’7, 350 + pounds, I think that says enough. He is huge and because of that he got doubled and even triple teamed in college. This guy would help out in the run defense big time, even though we are already the best run stopping team in the NFL.

    4th – C.J Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa- Good blocker, nice hands, good speed, big body. What else do you need from a TE. If he isn’t there trade down.

    5th – Brandon Thomas, G/T, Clemson- he tore his ACL and will slide in the draft. He’s a little raw and needs to be more consistent and he could achieve this by some good coaching which he will be getting a lot of since he will most likely sit almost the whole year.

    6th – Avery Williamson, MLB, Kentucky- Good wrap up tackler and can cover. We could use some depth at the MLB position. We don’t know what’s going on with Daryl Washington and if he’s going to be suspended or not, so we should pick a backer here and Avery is as good as any 4th round and up.

  6. By Dr. G. on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – Thanks for posting this so promptly. Kinda strange that we have only 1 Division game in the 1st 9 weeks…. And even more that we have 5 Division games in the last 8 weeks….huh? This will give the team some foresight strategy.

    And… the Bye may alleviate one game that DWash may not be able to play…. I’ve been thinking about 4 games for the suspension… ???? Are suspensions counted by “weeks” or “games?” I should know that…. Be well…

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Suspensions

    They are games, not weeks.

  8. By Hammy on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Really Love the Monday night game to open the season. I think we are finally getting the credit we deserve. Hopefully we can win that game and make a statement to the league and people who decide the schedules each year. More PRIMETIME games are always a good thing.

  9. By Caio Ramos on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    The Cardinals will face Charges 2 times in a row. What do you think about this, DArren? I think that NFL made a huge mistake on the schedule

  10. By georgiebird on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Schedule is tough but fair. If the NFC East has a bounce-back year, it will be tough for the Cards to get back to 10-6.

  11. By georgiebird on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    None of us want to see the Cards fall back to the 6-10. But playing in the NFC West, 6-10 is not out of the realm of possibility. Four games against SF and Seattle is always a big challenge. If the Cards are anything but primed for the season, 6-10 is a possibility.
    A DWash suspension won’t help.

  12. By Coach K on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    That is one tough schedule. We will need some good fortune and excellent play from the offense this year to have a shot. Right now, I’m guessing and hopeful of another 10-6 season with entry into the playoffs due to the fact that our division teams all have difficult schedules. So that makes it an even playing field. We will need to get off to a better start this time.

  13. By Matt on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply


    Getting Denver right after the bye will be good for us against Denver. They also have the bye in week 4. Peyton is a rhythm QB and struggles after a bye. For example most years after getting the first round bye in the playoffs.


  14. By Scharf on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    Looking good! Can’t wait for the season to start!

    Props to Darren! Get after those trolls! lol

  15. By Matt K on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    I like the fact that we only end up with one early game. It’s nice to not have to completely throw off the schedule, even on the road.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    The Bye week timing might be a good fit for return from possible DWash suspension. Love this schedule.. very exciting. Smash mouth football all season long.

  17. By clssylssy on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Wow, the NFC West has the toughest schedule going which doesn’t really worry me that much, as the placement of the BYE so early. The upside to that is that it is between two big games, 9ers and Denver, so it may work to our advantage. A win against both of these teams would certainly be an eye popper for the pundits,
    Still, that leaves an extremely LONG stretch going till the playoffs to keep everyone healthy and focused but, I’m thinking this team can go the distance. We have an outstanding collection of football minds behind some of the most gifted players in the NFL who are hungry.
    Listening to the analysts on TV, the Cards 2013 season has not gone unnoticed and it is good to get a favorable mention, although we seem to do our best work when we are the underdogs and I prefer to be a silent but deadly predator. The key to getting to the SB will be one victory at a time, winning all of our home games, taking our division, and knocking off a few of the big boys on the road–all very doable!
    The Cards have done best when playing up to their opponents and this year’s schedule should serve to make us stronger. GO CARDS! WE CAN DO THIS!

  18. By clssylssy on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    And, the pitiful pundits at Bleacher Reports have us going 6-10 this season! Obviously, they haven’t figured out that it is as much in the coaching staff and team environment as in the draft, LOL! But then, they still think it’s the Peyton Manning show too!!!

  19. By Eric G on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Wow, looks like I got my wish for the Giants game. September ought to have very nice weather to watch the Cards whoop the Giants.

  20. By Eric G on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Darn, was hoping that we wouldn’t play on Thursday night this year. I don’t think the Cards have ever won on Thursday. There’s always a first time for everything though.

  21. By jason on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    5 names cards fans should get ready to get hear called come draft day in order of my preference:

    1. Kony Ealy-I think he has the best combination of speed and size and he recorded the fastest time among defensive lineman in the 3 cone drill and fourth fastest if you throw in the linebackers. Think Matt Shaunessy, but more athletic.

    2. Calvin Pryor-I have read the argument that Pryor is too short which I think is completely short sighted (classic pun). If I could pick a safety that would fit our defense perfectly it would be an Ed Reed type (Ed Reed was 5’11) but Ed Reed was more athletic, right. Ed Reed ran a 4.57 40 at the combine and Calvin Pryor ran a 4.58. Another thing they have in common is that they both have great college tape that displayed their playmaking ability.

    3. Dee Ford-Sport Science show just did a profile on Dee Ford and put his athleticism on par with Von Miller which is pretty impressive. I love his confidence and I like that during the episode he said the tackling dummy QB was Kaepernick.

    4. Zack Martin-It is my personal hope that Massie and Watford win the RG/RT spots respectively because I think physically they bring the most to the table and because they were 4th round picks the are finically viable. I said last year after we signed Eric Winston that if Bobbie Massie didn’t beat him out it would be a disappointment…and it was. That gives me reason to believe that if Martin is the highest rated player on our board we could possibly take him. A concern I’ve heard stated is that if Martin can’t play tackle then you drafted two drafted guards in the first round in back to back years and now are paying a premium salary….a good point, so you better be sure he can play tackle first.

    5. Ra’shede Hageman-He wouldn’t be on my list but I read a report that the Cardinals have had several meeting with him and as a position he does make sense. I personally like other d-line guys who will be available later in the draft.

  22. By dan on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Your comments seem pretty lame to me.
    Playing the same team two weeks in a row? What the hell?
    The bye on week four is ok? Are you on drugs?
    Losing two practice days before playing the Giants on their turf deserves no comment? Are you blind?
    Much love to you, Mr. pie in the sky.

  23. By Darren Urban on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Dan —

    RE: Comments

    Methinks you care WAY too much.

    The last preseason game is meaningless.
    Not one player has complained about that bye. Seattle has the same bye, by the way.
    Losing two practice days? Apparently you don’t pay attention to the Cards closely, since the Cards will lose zero practice days. They practice Wed, Thur and Fri. That is unaffected.

  24. By Matt11 on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    This Fight to make it to the Playoffs is going to be even tougher then we can even think about. We’ll be facing the toughest team like facing Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles Redskins and possibly Rams. We got to get through of them or we’re never get to the Playoffs we got to work hard, play hard and avoid stupid mistakes. The time is NOW!!!

  25. By beardinals on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Maybe they should practice in Flagstaff the whole week before Denver and fly a charter right out of there. They’ll never get below 5000 ft for the entire time.

  26. By Tbru on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    The schedule release is great for planning your calendar. As far as it determining the number of wins any team will get is pointless. I am glad no games in the northeast in December and having the bye between SF & Denver is perfect. Seattle to Atlanta in back to back weeks is a lot of airplane time So many games are decided by less than 7 points, I think injury reports and sometimes luck of how the ball bounces on a couple plays has more to to do with wins and losses than the schedule. As far as San Diego two weeks in a row, who cares the last preseason game and the home opener on National TV are worlds apart. Based on the schedule the Cardinals ( or any team for that matter) can go 0-16 16-0 or most likely somewhere in between.

  27. By Tbru on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    How am I so far out of the loop I didn’t even know about Levi Stadium in Santa Clara?

  28. By joannamcgrath on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    I like this schedule. The entire key to it is going to be getting off to a fast start, since the back quarter of the schedule is an absolute killer.

    What I really love about it though is that nearly all of the toughest out of division games are played in Phoenix (albeit with the glaring example of the Denver game).

    A good defense can beat Manning, and all of the other games are absolutely winnable.

    My guess: We go 11-5, we win the division, 49ers pick up the wild card at 10-6, and in a shocker Seattle misses the playoffs entirely after we spank them at home once again to close out the season.

    Go cards!!

  29. By Dr. G. on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    My positive outlook – If you would call all 13 teams’ GM’s for a take on the Cardinals looming on their schedule, they will probably hang up on you!! The Cards are for real….No team looks with glee to see us opposing….

    jason – Ealy has always been on my radar. If he’s there at #20, he a Card!

    beardinals – Altitude? Good idea if NAU would accomodate, but unlikely. Flagstaff is 7200 feet…coming down to 5200 in Denver would seem like the beach, huh?

    Schedule/Record – Would it be remarkable to record a 10-6 or 9-7 record to win the Division tie-breaker against Seattle and SFran? 3 NFC West teams in the show? …. Be well Cards Fans….

  30. By D on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    I doubt if A. Barr from UCLA will slip past the Titans or the Steelers, but if he was on the board at 20, the dude from the Cards should be pulling a hammy running the card up to the Commish…

    We can all study the schedule like crazy fans but if the Cards don’t go 4-2 in the division, it won’t matter how much of a beating P. Rivers receives on PrimeTime…

  31. By Coach K on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply


    I really like your trade down scenario with Houston. Would love to see us pick up their 2,3 and 4. The only problem I have is, who will Houston be trading up for?
    I”m assuming Bortles and Manziel will be gone by pick #20, unless my prediction is true that all the QB’s will slide. If that’s true, then Bortles could be on the board at #20. And if that’s the case, I think Keim takes Bortles and does not trade down. Bortles is the only franchise QB in this draft in my opinion. Highest ceiling of any QB. Should be the most interesting draft ever!

  32. By CreditCard on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Exciting schedule. Each of the 32 teams is an NFL team with real professional athletes and coaches. Injuries, emotions, lucky or bad break here or there — changes a good team to a pathetic team or a marginal team to a good one. Ask Atlanta and Kansas City on how 2013 panned out.

  33. By Scott on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    -Coach K

    I like Bortles but i would rather have the picks and get Mettenberger in the 3rd round, than to draft a qb in the first to sit for who knows how many years.

  34. By cardinal on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Matt k …2 early games nyg and dallas [ but that is still great !!]

  35. By Michael Parks on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    I can’t wait to see the cards play

  36. By georgiebird on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    The NY Post on 4/23 said the Cardinals game would be one of the 3 easiest games on the Giants schedule. So not everybody is caught up on the Cardinals being a shoe-in in 2014

  37. By Dr. G. on Apr 24, 2014 | Reply

    Cards Fans, I rarely post a link, but for levity, this one is it. Green-right X-Box6 Catfish Enchilada7…. !! I hope DWash sees this somewhere… He needs it…

  38. By Corgon on Apr 25, 2014 | Reply

    I think a better record than last year or even the same would be a huge step forward. This is a brutal schedule. Of course the opponents was known, but see the whole picture set in stone is brutal. I’m very excited about the next season. Go Cards!!

  39. By Scott on Apr 25, 2014 | Reply

    –And I belive the Texans will get Clowney and then try to trade back in the 1st, thats were we come in.

  40. By Dr. G. on Apr 25, 2014 | Reply

    It has always been a little irksome that pre-season games are part of the season ticket package. And, the attendance can be anemic. I’ve always thought those games should be open to the general public, and every seat in the stadium should cost $25-…. The stands would be filled with enthusiastic fans who would normally not be able to afford the regular game pricing. But the NFL wants a guarantee.

    On the flip side, those of us who are interested in personnel decisions during pre-season enjoy watching the camp invitees and draft picks in their fight to make the roster. For them, pre-season is a huge endeavor. I have frequently given those tickets to some kids who would not otherwise be able to see a live game… Later…

  41. By joe67 on Apr 26, 2014 | Reply

    Hey guys, and Darren you too, tell me if I am wrong…….and I am sure you will. Since the league wants parity, why not have every team have their bye after week 8. Shut the league down one Sunday and let everyone have their break at the same time, including the fans. It would probably take a year or two to work out the logistics of this but sure seems a lot more fair. Or, option 2, AFC one week and the NFC the next week so the networks could still have their games on. I don’t think it will ever happen, but sure seems like a good idea to me.

  42. By Darren Urban on Apr 26, 2014 | Reply

    joe67 —

    RE: Bye

    TV means there will never be one all-encompassing week off. And splitting between AFC/NFC is possible but logistically difficult.

  43. By clssylssy on Apr 27, 2014 | Reply

    NY Post…gimme a break! They still think Eli is the second coming and Cruz is an elite WR despite his wanting them to draft an outside WR ! They don’t know what we know about the Cardinals behind the scenes program for technical improvement or weren’t obviously paying attention to our play last season and this team’s hunger for a return trip to the SB. The Cardinals are considered by analysts on ESPN and NFL as a potential leader in the west (over the 9ers) and I respect their analysis over some Mara driven publication. Of course the Cards will be a home game for the Giants but the Cards have showed they can win on the road so I don’t think anyone is REALLY anxious to face a team that was able to beat Seattle in their house by more than a field goal and hand their QB the worse defeat in his professional career. Of course, this is a new year and anything can happen, we have lost some major players on our defense, and Coach BA can always experience the same sophmore slump Coach Whisenhunt had after he took this team to the SB but I don’t see it. The NY game will be a road game we need to win more because of their status as past World Champs than their recent record, but every game is a “must win”.
    The atmosphere in Cardinal land is positively electric and the high per centage of players turning out for voluntary workouts speaks to a team who is ready to
    begin where we left off and GET’R DONE!

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: