Arizona Cardinals Schedule 2021: Dates, times, win/loss prediction for 17-game schedule

Arizona Cardinals Schedule 2021: Dates, times, win/loss prediction for 17-game schedule

What is the Arizona Cardinals’ 2021 NFL schedule, how many times will we see them in primetime games, and who are the toughest and easiest opponents on their schedule?

Arizona Cardinals Preseason Schedule

All times listed below are Eastern Time.

PS1: vs. Cowboys
PS2: vs. Chiefs
PS3: at Saints

Arizona Cardinals Schedule | 2021 Regular Season

All days are Sunday unless otherwise noted. All times listed below are Eastern Time.

Week 1: at Titans | 1 PM | CBS
Week 2: vs Vikings | 4:05 PM | FOX
Week 3: at Jaguars | 1 PM | FOX 
Week 4: at Rams | 4:05 PM | FOX
Week 5: vs. 49ers | 4:25 PM | FOX 
Week 6: at Browns | 4:05 PM | FOX 
Week 7: vs. Texans | 4:25 PM | CBS 
Week 8: vs. Packers | TNF | 8:20 PM | FOX/NFLN/Amazon
Week 9: at 49ers | 4:25 PM | FOX
Week 10: vs. Panthers | 4:05 PM | FOX
Week 11: at Seahawks | 4:25 PM | FOX
Week 12: Bye 
Week 13: at Bears | 1 PM | FOX
Week 14: vs Rams | MNF | 8:15 PM | ESPN
Week 15: at Lions | 1 PM | FOX 
Week 16: vs. Colts | SAT | 8:15 PM | NFLN
Week 17: at Cowboys | 1 PM | FOX
Week 18: vs. Seahawks | 4:25 PM | FOX

How many primetime games do the Cardinals play in 2021?

The Cardinals will play three primetime games in 2021. They will be against the Packers in Week 8, the Rams in Week 14, and the Colts in Week 16.

When is the Cardinals’ bye week?

The Cardinals’ bye is in Week 12.

Cardinals’ strength of schedule and win/loss prediction

Arizona heads towards the 2021 NFL season with the fourth-hardest schedule according to projected Vegas win totals. With such a tough schedule in store, how does the Cardinals’ 2021 season shape up in terms of the toughest and easiest matchups?

Toughest opponents

The Cardinals’ 2021 NFL schedule is brutal, thanks in large part to its own division. They are set to face six teams projected to win 10 or more games by Vegas. Four of those come within their own division. However, there are another five games against teams with a projected win total of 9.5, two of those against the other team in their division.

If we focus outside of the division first, the two games against teams projected to win 10 or more games are the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers. Both teams made the playoffs in 2020 and are expected to do so again in 2021. The saving grace for the Cardinals is that they’re both home games. Avoiding facing the Packers in Green Bay is always a positive.

The games against the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers will make or break the Cardinals’ schedule. With tough games out of the division, they need to go 3-3 within the division at least.  However, recent history is against them. Arizona has not defeated the Rams in their last eight attempts. They have won just two of their last six against the Seahawks and one of their last four against the 49ers.

Easiest opponents

The 2021 NFL schedule has not been kind to the Cardinals in the slightest. Only five games come against teams projected to win 8 games or fewer. Of those five, three come against teams projected to win under seven games.

With a projected win total of 4.5, the Texans stand out as the easiest game on the schedule. The Houston roster is in complete rebuild mode, and their situation at quarterback is a huge unknown. Meanwhile, the Lions enter 2021 projected to win just five games. However, a strong draft has seen buzz grow around the franchise. The Cardinals should still beat them, but the Lions possess a quarterback in Jared Goff who knows what it takes to beat Arizona.

The third game comes against the Jacksonville Jaguars and their rookie head coach/quarterback combination. The Jaguars are a complete unknown, given we have never seen Urban Meyer coach in the NFL. Will he use his scheme from college or will he mix it up in the NFL? As for Trevor Lawrence, we know he is talented, but will he have a Joe Burrow/Justin Herbert-like start to his NFL career, or will his impact be more underwhelming as a rookie?

2021 season prediction

The third season under Kliff Kingsbury is crucial for Arizona. Unfortunately, the NFL schedule has not been favorable to the Cardinals in 2021. A “free win” does not exist in the NFL, but the Cardinals are looking at a schedule loaded with tough games week-in and week-out.

If Arizona can finish with nine or more wins this season, they should be ecstatic. Still, the likelihood is it’ll be a really tough season for the Cardinals. If things start to go wrong early, the 2021 NFL schedule is set in such a way that the wheels could come off the Cardinals quickly, potentially resulting in the end of Kingsbury’s tenure in Arizona.

Projected 2021 record: 5-12

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James is a college football and NFL Draft analyst at Pro Football Network. But that’s not all. He also serves as PFN’s content marketing specialist. You can read all of James’ work here and follow him on Twitter: @JamesFragoza.