Well folks, the NFL released its team schedules on Tuesday, and for Cardinals fans, this day couldn’t have come quick enough.
Thankfully we knew this year’s opponents ahead of time, just not when and in what order they would face them.
The team has three of its first four games at home, with a Week Two trip to New England nestled in there.
The Seahawks will be the Cardinals first opponent at University of Phoenix Stadium. That game will take place on Sept. 9. Kickoff is slated for 2:15 p.m. Arizona time.
For now, the team will be featured twice in prime time. The first game will be in St. Louis on Oct. 4. The second will see the Cardinals host their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, on Oct. 29.
The Cardinals need all bodies to be as healthy as possible, because their bye week isn’t until Week 10.
Their parting gift before the break? A trip to Lambeau Field on Nov. 4 to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
The schedule gets no easier after the bye, as the NFL schedulers made sure the team gets its frequent flier miles, by putting them on the road for three of the first four games, starting in Atlanta on Nov. 18.
Finally, the trio of games to end the season sees the Cardinals hosting the Lions, Bears and at San Francisco against the 49ers to end the season.
The total combined record of those teams last season? 31-17.
It’s a tough schedule, especially with the early trip to New England, the Week Three home game against Michael Vick and the Eagles and the Week Six home contest with Mario Williams, Stevie Johnson and the Bills. It’s imperative that the Cardinals come out of the gate strong and keep injuries to a minimum (as much as they can) before the bye.
With a full offseason (finally!), a healthy Kevin Kolb and a full compliment of secondary personnel, this team should be much better, and hopefully will build off the success they built during the second half of the 2011 season.
Arizona Cardinals 2012 Schedule:
Sept 9 vs. Seattle, 1:15 p.m.
Sept 16 at New England, 10 a.m.
Sept 23 vs. Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m.
Sept 30 vs. Miami, 1:05 p.m.
Oct 4 at Rams, 5:20 p.m. (Thursday night game)
Oct 14 vs. Buffalo, 1:05 p.m.
Oct 21 at Minnesota, 10 a.m.
Oct 29 vs. 49ers, 5:30 p.m. (Monday night game)
Nov 4 at Green Bay, 11 a.m.
Nov 11 Bye Week
Nov 18 at Atlanta, 11 a.m.
Nov 25 vs Rams, 2:15 p.m.
Dec 2 at Jets, 11 a.m.
Dec 9 at Seattle, 2:15 p.m.
Dec 16 vs Detroit, 2:05 p.m.
Dec 23 vs Chicago, 2:15 p.m.
Dec 30 at San Francisco, 2:15 p.m.
(All times local times)