The NFL schedule release was earlier this week, and the Arizona Cardinals now know what their regular season schedule looks like. The Cardinals didn’t have a great year last year, but Arizona fans are still excited for the season. Arizona is expected to be better this season, but their schedule doesn’t do them a lot of favors. Their division should be a tough one, and they have a lot of difficult opponents on the schedule from outside of the division as well.

Cardinals fans better hope that their team is ready to go right out of the gates to start the season, because things are going to be challenging immediately. The most difficult stretch for the Cardinals this upcoming season will be the first six weeks of the season. In those first six games, the Cardinals will take on five teams that made the playoffs last year.

First, the Cardinals will hit the road to take on the Buffalo Bills. The Bills went 11-6 and won their division. They had a decent run in the playoffs, but they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in a heartbreaker.

After that, the Los Angeles Rams will come to town to take on the Cardinals. The Rams made it to the playoffs as a wild card team last year, and they lost in the first round.

Next up for Arizona is the Detroit Lions. The Lions had a 17-point lead in the second half of the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, but they fell just short of making the Super Bowl.

Speaking of the 49ers, that’s who the Cardinals will play in week five. They play the Washington Commanders between the Lions and 49ers, and that will be a nice break, but then it’s right back to the gauntlet.

In week six, the Cardinals will go on the road to Lambeau to take on the Green Bay Packers, who are expected to be one of the best teams in the NFC in 2024 after a strong finish to last season that included a win over the Dallas Cowboys on the road in the playoffs.

This is a daunting way for the Cardinals to start the season. Five of their first six games are going to be incredibly difficult, and this is certainly their hardest stretch on the schedule. Winning just one out of those five games would seem like a big win for them.

ClutchPoints predicted all 17 regular season games for the Cardinals, and here is what we got for those five challenging games:

Week 1 at Buffalo Bills

The Cardinals will start the season with a difficult matchup as they will be hitting the road to take on the Bills. Buffalo has been a consistent playoff team in recent years and they have come close to winning the AFC. They haven’t been able to get it done, but they are hungry to get back to the postseason this year. They will start their season with a home victory. LOSS.

Week 2 vs. Los Angeles Rams

Another playoff team is on the schedule for week two as the Cardinals will play their first home game against the Rams. Los Angeles had a good season last year after a disappointing campaign the previous season, and they once again have high hopes for 2024. This is going to be a tough one for the Cardinals, and they aren’t going to get the win. LOSS.

Los Angeles Rams running back Royce Freeman (24) runs for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at State Farm Stadium
© Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Week 3 vs. Detroit Lions

The first three weeks of the season are going to be difficult for the Cardinals. The Lions will be in town in week three, and they are expected to be one of the best teams in the league once again this season. Detroit made it all the way to the NFC Championship game last season, and they had a 17-point second half lead in that game. They ended up losing, but they could very well make it back there this year. They will make the Cardinals 0-3. LOSS.

Week 5 at San Francisco 49ers

Right back to playing playoff teams in week five as the Cardinals will travel to San Francisco to take on the defending NFC champs. The 49ers are going to be one of the best teams in football again next year, and the Cardinals aren’t going to be able to hang around with them. They will play each other twice, and round one will go to San Francisco. LOSS.

Week 6 at Green Bay Packers

The early parts of the schedule are doing the Cardinals no favors. They will take on another playoff team from last season as they will hit the road to play the Packers in week six. Green Bay got hot at the end of last year after a rough start to the season, and they were close to knocking off the 49ers on the road in the playoffs. They are going to be good this season, and they will beat the Cardinals. LOSS.

We’ll see how the Cardinals fare to start off that stretch, but it certainly isn’t going to be easy. They should be better next year, but starting the season out like that is going to be rough.