2020 Team Analysis and Schedule
The Arizona Cardinals team entered the NFL in 1920, but they were established in 1898 and are the longest-existing team in the NFL. The team was initially established in Chicago, but it has gone through several moves in their history.
The Cardinals have not made the playoffs since the 2015 season, and they are still looking for their first-ever Super Bowl victory. Arizona has gone through a rebuilding phase over the last couple of years but appears ready to turn the corner.
The Cardinals improved throughout the 2019 regular season, and they should be a playoff contender in 2020 if they can leap either the 49ers or the Seahawks. Arizona has a relatively young roster, but it also has some experienced veterans to lead the way.
Arizona Cardinals 2020 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 13||at San Francisco 49ers|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||Washington Football Team|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||Detroit Lions|
|Week 4||Oct. 4||at Carolina Panthers|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||at New York Jets|
|Week 6||Oct. 19||at Dallas Cowboys|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 8||Nov. 1||Bye week|
|Week 9||Nov. 8||Miami Dolphins|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||Buffalo Bills|
|Week 11||Nov. 19||at Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||at New England Patriots|
|Week 13||Dec. 6||Los Angeles Rams|
|Week 14||Dec. 13||at New York Giants|
|Week 15||Dec. 20||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Week 16||Dec. 27||San Francisco 49ers|
|Week 17||Jan. 3||at Los Angeles Rams|
Arizona Cardinals News & Picks
Last Year’s History
The Arizona Cardinals finished the 2019 season with a record of 5-10-1. The season started with a tie against the Detroit Lions, and it looked like things were off to a solid start.
Arizona won three straight games during Weeks 5-7, and that improved their record to 3-3-1. The Cardinals just were not able to find any consistency, and they went on to lose their next six games.
Arizona finished with two wins in their last three games, and that should give them some momentum heading into the 2020 season. Linebacker Chandler Jones was named to the AP All-Pro first team, and Budda Baker was a Pro Bowler as well.
The 2019 season was the team’s first under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and it was also the first season with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. Arizona is set to take a huge step forward in 2020 as both the QB and coach will now be entering their second season together.
Arizona Cardinals Key Players
The Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he was instantly given the starting quarterback position. Murray struggled at times during his rookie season, but he also showed some flashes of greatness.
The former Heisman Trophy winner threw for 3,722 yards as a rookie and had 20 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. Murray can also make plays with his legs, but the Cardinals are doing their best to keep him healthy.
If Murray is able to take a big step forward in 2020, it could propel the Cardinals to a tremendous season.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is entering his 17th season in the NFL, and all of those years have been spent with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he finally decides to retire, but he is still putting up big numbers for the Cardinals.
Fitzgerald had 75 receptions for 804 yards during the 2019 season, and he caught four touchdown passes. The wide receiver was the top target for Kyler Murray, and he is expected to have another big season in 2020. The offseason addition of superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins should help Fitz get open even more than he is used to.
Fitzgerald is closing in on 1,400 career receptions, and he has 120 touchdown receptions during his first 16 years in the league.
Chandler Jones is entering his fifth season with the Arizona Cardinals, and he is a large part of the defense. Jones had the best season of his career in 2019, and the Cardinals are hoping for another huge season in 2020.
Jones had 19 sacks a season ago and has had at least 11 sacks in each of his last five seasons. The outside linebacker didn’t get a ton of help from his teammates in 2019, but he did his part in trying to stop opponents.
Arizona Cardinals New Additions
The biggest addition that the Arizona Cardinals made this offseason was trading for WR DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has been a perennial Pro-Bowler with the Houston Texans, and he will give quarterback Kyler Murray another weapon.
Arizona selected LB Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft, and he should help transform the defense. Simmons had a terrific collegiate career, and he can play plenty of different positions.
LB De’ Vondre Campbell was also brought in to help improve the defense, and he should compete for a starting position. Devon Kennard is another linebacker signed by the Cardinals, as it was clear that the team was targeting this position.
Arizona Cardinals Key Subtractions
In acquiring Hopkins, the Cardinals decided to part ways with running back David Johnson. Johnson had some huge years with the Cardinals, but he also struggled to stay healthy at times.
Wide receivers Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper have also moved on from the Cardinals, but Arizona believes that it has made up for this loss. The Cardinals did not lose any other major players from their 2019 team, and they definitely improved their roster during the 2020 offseason.
The NFC West Division has two of the top teams in the league, and the Cardinals are not a part of that group. Arizona should have a chance to compete for the playoffs this season, but it will be hard for them to win the NFC West.
The San Francisco 49ers won the division a season ago, and they also made it to the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks finished in second place in the NFC West with a record of 11-5, and they return much of the same team.
The Los Angeles Rams were in the Super Bowl just two seasons ago, but they seem to be going in the wrong direction. Arizona will have to leapfrog three terrific teams to win the NFC West, but they could rack up enough division wins to win a Wild Card spot.
Arizona Cardinals Offense
The Cardinals offense is going to live or die as per the growth of second-year signal caller and last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, Kyler Murray. After his sensational rookie year and the moves made by the team this past offseason, there is no reason to doubt the possibility that Murray can become a superstar.
Speaking of moves made by the team, Arizona easily made the deal of the year when they offloaded perennially disappointing RB David Johnson and his contract money for arguably the best receiver on the planet in DeAndre Hopkins.
Last year, the Cardinals jumped from the worst offensive team in 2018 to the middle of the pack. All it will take is a much smaller increase in productivity in 2020 for the Cardinals to become a team the rest of the NFC has to take very seriously as a playoff contender.
Arizona Cardinals Defense
Defense was a major problem for the Cardinals during the 2019 season, but their offense put them in some bad positions as well. The Cardinals allowed 27.6 points per game, which ranked in the bottom five of the league.
The Cardinals gave up more than 280 passing yards per game a season ago, which put them 31st out of 32 teams in the league. Arizona also allowed 120 rushing yards per game, and they need to make some huge improvements this season.
Arizona spent some money this offseason in an effort to improve its defense, and it could turn around in 2020.
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