The Arizona Cardinals have finished last in the NFC West each of the last two seasons. What are the five key games on the schedule this year?
It proved to be a rollercoaster season for first-time NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury as he led the Arizona Cardinals to two more wins than they had the previous season. Regardless, this franchise finished last in the NFC West for the second consecutive year, despite some encouraging signs – especially on the offensive side of the ball.
After failing to win a game in their first four outings of 2019, the club reeled off three consecutive wins and looked to be turning the corner. But things headed downhill quickly as the team dropped six in a row and tumbled out of contention. But there was a convincing win at Seattle in Week 16 that gave the Cardinals hope for the future.
Arizona’s improved attack was led by 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Tyler Murray. But the Cards allowed the most total yards in the league and the second-most passing yards in the NFL. So did general manager Steve Keim do enough to fix this unit this offseason? And what five games on this year’s schedule are crucial to Kingsbury and company?
5. Away vs. Carolina Panthers
It’s been a spell since the Cardinals and Carolina Panthers collided. And Arizona will be making its first appearance at Charlotte since 2016. In reality, it wasn’t all that long ago that the teams were meeting in the postseason in consecutive years. In fact, the Cards’ last playoff game came in 2015 at Carolina, a humbling 49-15 loss to the Super Bowl-bound Panthers in the NFC Championship Game.
Now the latter is under the command of new head coach Matt Rhule, who inherits a 5-11 squad that dropped their final eight games this past season. Like Kliff Kingsbury, Rhule comes right from the college ranks. And his first year with this club could be a trying experience and one the Cardinals may be able to take advantage of.