Arizona Cardinals early season 3-game gauntlet in 2022
It’s no secret the Arizona Cardinals open up the season with a tough schedule in their first three games of 2022.
Arizona will host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, travel to Las Vegas to play the Raiders in Week 2 and then host the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in Week 3.
All this will be without star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
The Cardinals’ first three opponents combined for a 34-17 record in 2021 and all three made the playoffs.
For the first game against the Chiefs, Mahomes and company will have a new target in former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The 2019 Super Bowl Champs look to reload after trading wideout Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. Hill was the No. 1 target in 2021 for the Chiefs, hauling in 111 catches for 1,239 yards. The team also decided to let safety Tyrann Mathieu walk in free agency.
Kansas City’s AFC West rival, the Las Vegas Raiders, is another team that joined the arms race and is looking to win now within that division.
Las Vegas made a trade for one of the league’s best receivers in Davante Adams from the Packers, quarterback Derek Carr’s former college teammate at Fresno State. Adams signed a five-year, $141.25 million contract with the Raiders.
The Raiders then made a move for the Cardinals’ all-time leader in sacks when they gave edge rusher Chandler Jones a three-year, $51 million contract.
This will be the first home game of the season in Allegiant Stadium Week 2.
Lastly, the Cardinals finish up the three-game gauntlet with another home game against a familiar face.
The Cardinals’ season ended at the hand of the Rams when L.A. dismantled the Arizona offense in the NFC Wild Card game and left many question marks about Arizona’s future heading into the offseason.
The Rams went out and made two flashy free agent acquisitions when they acquired wide receiver Allen Robinson as well as linebacker Bobby Wagner.
L.A. lost edge rusher Von Miller as well as wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Robert Woods.
The Super Bowl champs will look to revenge an early season loss to Arizona in Week 4 where the Cardinals left L.A. with a 37-20 win.