CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals Corner podcast: Predicting Arizona’s 2024 record

May 20, 2024, 9:10 AM

The Arizona Cardinals’ 2024 schedule is hot off the presses, so it’s only natural for way-too-early predictions.

Taking a game-by-game approach, Cardinals Corner podcast co-hosts Tyler Drake and Lauren Koval give their thoughts on the road ahead.

Arizona Cardinals 2024 game-by-game prediction

Week 1: Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills

Drake (1-0): Win. Buffalo is very sketchy in my opinion right now. They’re going through some change, but Josh Allen is still that dude. I’m just not super confident in that team right now and I think a Week 1 Cardinals win is not out of the question.

Koval (0-1): Loss. The Cardinals are a hard team to judge this year, which is what could make this first game so exciting. The Bills at home are always a challenging team to play, and they have a fanbase that never misses a beat.

Week 2: Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (2-0): Win. No Aaron Donald, one less guy you’ve got to worry about. Head coach Sean McVay is still a mastermind and can get it done, but I think they ride off that Bills win — I know head coach Jonathan Gannon doesn’t like momentum — but that’s a win.

Koval (1-1): Win.

Week 3: Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (2-1): Loss. The Lions are what the Cardinals want to get to just by where Detroit came from, that kind of success soon after is what the Cardinals want to get to. Until the Lions start faltering a little bit, I think they’re still very much a team to beat and a contender.

Koval (2-1): Win. The Lions always lose a few games in the season that they shouldn’t if you look at the records and you look at the matchups. The biggest questions come from the Cardinals secondary and if it can step up and shut down Jared Goff’s air game a little bit more, because the run game isn’t as defined as it has been in the past. If you have to force them to run the ball a little bit more, I could see the Cardinals winning that one.

Week 4: Washington Commanders vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (3-1): Win. The crowd is going to let Kliff Kingsbury and Jayden Daniels hear it from the start, putting even more pressure on the Washington newcomers. And while the Cardinals are onto their next chapter, you know there’s going to be some extra juice for this one.

Koval (2-2): Loss. If you’re saying this is a defacto rivalry game, the Commanders have a lot more to play for than the Cardinals do. Kliff Kingsbury wants to come back here and make a statement that he was as good as everyone else thinks. Daniels wants to come back and prove that going to LSU was the right choice. That doesn’t stand true for the Cardinals. They’ve moved on, they’ve done other things, they’ve got a new coaching staff, they have a new regime. I’m giving Arizona the loss.

Week 5: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Drake (3-2): Loss. NFC West juggernaut. Much like I said about the Lions, the 49ers are a team to beat. Until we see different, San Francisco still reigns near the top of the NFL.

Koval (2-3): Loss. That’s the first road game coming off three games at home and you’re going against a tough division rival.

Week 6: Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers

Drake (3-3): This one is a flip of the coin for me at his point. It looks like Jordan Love is figuring it out. That could always change but after what we saw last year, the next step for him is to stack seasons and grow even more as a leader.

Koval (2-4): Weather won’t be much of an issue for Arizona unless it’s grossly hot, which could be a thing in October. Lambeau Field is still a tough place to play — even without Aaron Rodgers.

Week 7: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (4-3): Yes, Jim Harbaugh knows a thing or two about the NFC West of old. I think there are going to be some growing pains. There’s no Austin Ekeler, the wide receivers room looks completely barren. There’s a lot of unknowns with this Chargers team.

Koval (2-5): Loss. I’m giving the Cardinals the L here because I think that Harbaugh could possibly figure out Justin Herbert and really make that offense work for him. I think by this point in the season. There are fewer questions at that point.

Week 8: Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins

Drake (4-4): Loss. The Dolphins have too much offensive firepower for the Cardinals’ defense to contend with, highlighted by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They get it done at home.

Koval (2-6): I just think playing in Miami there are always some question marks. Tua Tagovailoa’s really good and he’s got a lot of options downfield that can exploit the Cardinals. The defense is very solid.

Week 9: Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (5-4): Win. Another rookie quarterback, another win for the Cardinals. Some of Arizona’s biggest problem areas defensively look much better from a talent standpoint than they did a year prior. I think the unit is going to surprise more people than we think and that’ll be on display against the batch of rookie signal callers.

Koval (3-6): Win. I agree. We need to see what quarterback Caleb Williams brings to the table before handing out a win here.

Week 10: New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (5-5): Loss. This is kind of like the Packers game for me. Very much up in the air. What does Aaron Rodgers look like? If he struggles, the Cardinals win. If he’s anything like the seasons before last year, it’s going to be tough. And their defense is solid. It’s going to be a close one.

Koval (3-7): Loss. I think if they’re anything like the Jets team that was hyped before the start of last season with so much promise and so much ability, they win this one. Also, it’s Rodgers. Always hard to bet against him even though he’s old.

Week 11: BYE

Week 12: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

Drake (6-5): Win. I just think this is one of those games the Cardinals really come to play. They know where they’re going, it’s going to be a hostile environment. That just screams JG football.

Koval (3-8): Loss. I agree with everything TD said, and because of that, I’m going loss. Coming off the bye week, they should be a little bit more motivated, but also there’s a little bit of rust there. I think it’s similar to earlier in the season when they have those three home games and then they go on the road. This is a similar stretch for me. Playing in Seattle is tough.

Week 13: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

Drake (7-5): Win. Again, another rookie quarterback. Pair that with the other changes on the roster and this one screams Cardinals.

Koval (4-8): Win. I think the Vikings have a lot of internal unrest at the moment. I don’t think everybody wants to be there even if they are — I’m looking at you Justin Jefferson. I also don’t know who the leader is in that locker room and you’re bringing in a rookie QB.

Week 14: Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (7-6): Loss. I can’t do the division sweep here. I know it’s random — but usually so are these games. Give me the Seahawks for the simple expectation of weird things happening.

Koval (5-8): Win. I’m going Cardinals in this one because I think both teams take their respective home games.

Week 15: New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (8-6): Win. Another rookie quarterback, another franchise undergoing major change, another Cardinals W.

Koval (6-8) Win. Another game where the Cardinals could go up against a rookie quarterback. Kyler wins this quarterback matchup easily, no matter who is starting.

Week 16: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

Drake (9-6): Win. I’ll spell it out very easily: Carolina is dysfunctional.

Koval (7-8): Win. Not another rookie QB, but nearly another rookie QB.

Week 17: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Drake (9-7): Loss. McVay has had the Cardinals’ number for some time. Even without Donald, I think the head coach figures things out in Round 2 against Arizona.

Koval (7-9): Loss. That’s just a tough game late in the season. A divisional game and another divisional split.

Week 18: San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Drake (9-8): Loss. I am leaning 49ers here, but playoff implications could really impact things.

Koval (7-10): Loss. This is still a team coming off a Super Bowl appearance and is very technically sound. I do not see a lot of weaknesses.

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