Cardinals face numerous teams with new quarterbacks in 2021

May 31, 2021, 7:07 AM | Updated: Jun 1, 2021, 7:46 am

The Arizona Cardinals’ schedule is filled with new faces on new teams, especially when looking at who is under center.

The Cardinals will play nine games against quarterbacks in their first year starting with a team, 10 if you want to count Aaron Rodger’s potential departure.

Of Arizona’s 2021 opponents, three are projected to be led by rookie QBs.

Last season, the Cardinals took on six teams with new signal callers, finishing 3-3 in those matchups.

A list of the new-look quarterbacks the Cardinals defense is up against in 2021:

Week 3 — Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Record vs. Cardinals: N/A

The Cardinals’ first taste of the 2021 quarterback class is none other than No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.

Lawrence, 21, capped off an impressive college career at Clemson, throwing for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns to five interceptions over 10 games. He added 203 yards and eight touchdowns on 68 rushing attempts. Lawrence was second in Heisman voting behind only Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

Lawrence won’t be the only noticeable new face on Jacksonville’s sideline this season, with Urban Meyer joining the NFL head-coaching ranks and former quarterback Tim Tebow signing on as a tight end.

The Cardinals are 2-3 against the Jaguars all-time.

Weeks 4 & 14 — Matt Stafford, Los Angeles Rams 

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Record vs. Cardinals: 3-4-1

The Cardinals now get a double dose of Matthew Stafford after the Detroit Lions traded the signal caller to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a 2021 third rounder this offseason.

Stafford, 33, went 5-11 as Detroit’s starter last season, throwing for 4,084 yards and 26 touchdowns. He tossed 10 interceptions and was sacked 38 times.

In the Lions’ 26-23 win over the Cardinals in Week 3, Stafford completed 70.9% of his passes (22-of-31) for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked four times.

The Rams hold a 46-38-2 advantage over the Cardinals all-time.

Weeks 5 & 9 — Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Record vs. Cardinals: N/A

Hey look! Another new face in the NFC West!

The San Francisco 49ers made a huge splash this offseason when they traded up to the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, using the selection on former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

Lance, 21, threw for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns on 66.9% passing (192-of-287) in 16 games played in his lone full season as NDSU’s starter in 2019. He added another 1,100 yards and 14 scores on 169 carries.

Lance made just one start in 2020 before opting out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

He’ll compete with Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting spot this offseason.

The 49ers are 32-27 all-time against the Cardinals.

Week 8 — Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Record vs. Cardinals: N/A

With Rodgers’ future in Green Bay seemingly up in the air, Jordan Love starting in 2021 isn’t as farfetched as it should be.

The 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Love got a front row seat to Rodgers’ MVP season, watching the moonlighting Jeopardy! host take the Packers all the way to the NFC title game. Love has yet to make his NFL debut.

The former Utah State quarterback threw for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns on 61.9% passing (293-of-473) over 13 games in 2019 after a 32-touchdown effort the year prior. He also recorded 17 picks.

The Packers may have more regular season wins, taking 46 of the 74 meetings against the Cardinals, but Arizona is 2-1 in the playoff matchups.

Week 10 — Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Record vs. Cardinals: N/A

Sam Darnold was supposed to play the Cardinals for the first time last year, but was forced out of the matchup due to injury. Instead, the Cardinals defense feasted on backup Joe Flacco.

Fast forward and the Jets have turned to former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, trading Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick and second- and fourth-rounders in 2022.

In 12 games last season, Darnold finished 2-10 with 2,208 yards and nine touchdowns on 59.6% passing (217-of-364). He’s 13-25 as an NFL starter (three seasons).

Carolina is 11-4 all-time against the Cardinals and has won two of three playoff meetings.

Week 13 — Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Record vs. Cardinals: N/A

Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields is the last first-round quarterback on the docket for the Cardinals in the regular season.

Moving up to No. 11 in the draft through a trade with the New York Giants in exchange for two first-rounders, Chicago nabbed the former Ohio State Buckeye.

Last season as a junior, Fields completed 70.2% of his throws (158-of-225) for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns to six interceptions over eight games. He added another five scores and 383 yards on 81 carries.

Fields exploded in his first season with the Buckeyes in 2019, throwing for 41 touchdowns and more than 3,200 yards.

The Bears have won 59 of the 93 meetings against the Cardinals.

Week 15 — Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

(Jeff Nguyen/Detroit Lions via AP)

Record vs. Cardinals: 7-1

He may not be in the NFC West anymore, but Goff can’t escape his old division that easily.

Goff, who was shipped out of Los Angeles in favor of Stafford, has the best record among the group of signal callers with new homes.

In eight games against the Cardinals, Goff has thrown for 2,239 yards and 11 touchdowns to just three picks. He’s completed 70.3% of his passes (197-of-279) and added three more scores on the ground.

Of the teams he has played over his career, Goff has only thrown more touchdowns against the 49ers (14).

In his lone game against the Cardinals last season, Goff threw for 351 yards and a touchdown on 78.7% passing (37-of-47). He also ran the ball four times for a score.

Detroit is 36-28-6 against Arizona all-time.

Week 16 — Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Record vs. Cardinals: 1-0

The Cardinals will face the last of the new-look quarterbacks when Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts come to town on Christmas.

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to trade the signal caller this offseason in exchange for a 2021 third-rounder and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could end up being a first depending on how much Wentz plays after turning to rookie Jalen Hurts last season.

Finishing 3-8-1 as a starter last season, Wentz threw for 2,620 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also tossed a career-high 15 interceptions and was sacked 50 times. He added five scores and 276 yards on 52 rushing attempts.

In his one game against the Cardinals back in 2017, Wentz threw for four touchdowns and 304 yards on 21-of-30 passing (70%). Philadelphia won that meeting 34-7.

The Cardinals hold a 58-56-5 advantage over the Eagles all-time and have won two of three playoff meetings.

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