Cardinals Corner podcast: A record prediction for Arizona to begin the Gannon era
Sep 8, 2023, 8:06 AM
It wouldn’t be the start of another Arizona Cardinals season without a good old fashioned record prediction.
Breaking things down week by week, the Cardinals Corner podcast co-hosts Tyler Drake and Erik Ruby threw out their best guesses as to what Arizona’s record will look like when the dust settles on the regular season.
They also give their take on when quarterback Kyler Murray might return to action from a torn ACL.
Shockingly, they actually agreed on most things!
So without further ado, let’s get right into the chaos:
Arizona Cardinals 2023 game-by-game prediction
Week 1: Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Commanders
Tyler Drake (0-1): Loss. I was leaning toward the Cardinals for about a week but I think with Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin probably at 100% or close to it with pass-rusher Chase Young on the other side, the Commanders take the season opener. I think it will closer than what a lot of people are expecting.
Erik Ruby (0-1): Loss. The only game I have a question mark next to is this one because I flipped-flopped in my brain. I’m thinking of the Eric Bieniemy aspect of it all. He’s going to want to come out and dominate. I’m feeling like a solid 24-17 game.
Week 2: Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Giants
Drake (0-2): Loss. It’ll be interesting to see what former Cardinal Isaiah Simmons gives to this Giants team early on. I think running back Saquon Barkley being firmly in the mix after an offseason of murkiness is going to be the deciding factor in a Cardinals loss.
Ruby (0-2): Loss. Daniel Jones can move. Barkley can move. It’s going to be a huge task for this defensive line. It’s going to be run-heavy in Week 2 after being the opposite in Week 1. I’m interested to see how they deal with that switch. I feel like Simmons is going to start out with a big play and then end up getting burned, but the Cardinals still lose.
Week 3: Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys
Drake (0-3): Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is expected to continue on his trajectory, especially with Ezekiel Elliott no longer on the roster. Another loss over here.
Ruby (0-3): I’m sniffing L pretty heavily here.
Week 4: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers
Drake (0-4): Loss. The Nick Bosa holdout for San Francisco was something to watch, but even if he didn’t play, the Niners would still get the win here. Regardless of whether a team is a playoff contender or contending for a No. 1 pick, this might be one of the toughest starts to a schedule out there.
Ruby (0-4): Loss. The scale just keeps going up. A true David & Goliath. It’s an L for me. Arizona may still be winless, but I’m expecting to see growth and comfortability at this point in the year.
Week 5: Arizona Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Drake (0-5): Loss. Not long ago the Bengals were near or at the bottom of the NFL. Not anymore.
Ruby (0-5): Loss. It would be a miracle if they win, but I’m not grim and down on this. By this point, either Josh Dobbs is going to look extremely comfortable, or we’ll really know who he is.
Week 6: Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Drake (1-5): Win. The Cardinals win, but it might come with draft spot implications. The Rams are going to be bad and they are paying for their Super Bowl gamble.
Ruby (1-5): Win. The Cardinals will win their first game Sunday, Oct. 15, on the road taking on the stinky — and I mean stinky — Los Angeles Rams. This team is sneakily going to compete for the No. 1 pick.
Week 7: Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Drake (1-6): Loss. The Seahawks could possibly compete for the NFC West title, but it all comes down to Geno Smith. But at least in this one, Seattle gets the win over Arizona.
Ruby (1-6): Loss. You can definitely compete and weird things happen in Seattle — it could be 9-6. But at the end of the day, I think this kind of stuff works itself out. Seattle walks away with a win.
Week 8: Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Drake (1-7): Loss. Week 8 has been my pick for when Murray returns from the beginning and I’m sticking with it. He’ll need a few weeks coming off the physically unable to perform list and to me, getting activated in Week 5 would give him a few weeks to get a good amount of practice before getting rolled out there. Despite his return, the Cardinals fall to Lamar Jackson and Co.
Ruby (1-7): Loss. I think Zay Flowers is going to be great. You don’t sign Odell Beckham Jr. if you’re not trying to win, and you don’t pay Lamar that if you aren’t trying to go far in 2023. The Ravens win this one.
Week 9: Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
Drake (1-8): Loss. I think Cleveland is going to know what to expect from Drew Petzing, having been the offensive coordinator’s previous landing spot. It’s going to be one of the closer games but the Browns sneak it out.
Ruby (1-8): Loss. It’s going to be cold, you’re in November now. This is a game they could win, but I think Cleveland pulls it out. I don’t think the Browns are going to be that good. I don’t trust Deshaun Watson in more ways than one.
Week 10: Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons
Drake (2-8): Win. Arizona has enough talent and at this point will have been able to tweak things more to its liking. Give me a win for this one.
Ruby (2-8): Murray returns and picks up the win. It’s the start of a nice three-game stretch where Arizona could stack wins and add confidence. K1 is going to have that juice, the team is going to have a chip on its shoulder. I’m excited to see local product Bijan Robinson, but Desmond Ridder is the QB and the defense is suspect. The Cardinals are better than the Falcons.
Week 11: Arizona Cardinals @ Houston Texans
Drake (3-8): The biggest draft-implication game on the slate is a win for the Cardinals. C.J. Stroud has his work cut out for him on a rebuilding roster.
Ruby (3-8): Win. I don’t think it matters who wins here. If you’re going to split hairs, you probably want the Cardinals to win, you want the mojo, you want the chemistry, you want the continuity.
Week 12: Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams
Drake (4-8): Win. The Rams don’t have much and wide receiver Cooper Kupp is already dealing with injury issues and they haven’t played a game yet.
Ruby (4-8): Win. Three straight victories for the Cardinals.
Week 13: Arizona Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Drake (4-9): Loss. Coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have a knack for not being under .500. Winning these kinds of games against teams they should beat is why.
Ruby (4-9) Loss. Pittsburgh is not going to let this one slip away from it.
Week 14: Bye
Week 15: Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
Drake (4-10): Loss. San Francisco gets the sweep.
Ruby (4-10): Loss. At home but same result as Round 1.
Week 16: Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears
Drake (4-11): Loss. I think weather is going to be a factor and Bears quarterback Justin Fields should take a step forward this season.
Ruby (4-11): Loss. Road game on Christmas Eve. Interesting circumstances. I don’t the Cardinals win.
Week 17: Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
Drake (4-12): Loss. The Eagles are eyeing another Super Bowl run. They’ll likely have some extra juice going up against former defensive coordinator and Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon.
Ruby (4-12): Loss. Philadelphia is going to have a chip on its shoulder with JG on the opposite sideline.
Week 18: Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Drake (4-13): Loss. Even though there’s always a chance for things to get weird, the Cardinals end the year on a losing streak.
Ruby (4-13): Loss. It’s onto the NFL Draft.