Arizona Cardinals schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate on Wednesday.

The Cardinals begin coach Jonathan Gannon's second season -- and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.'s first -- on the road at Buffalo and then return to Arizona for three straight home games.

Depending on how Arizona looks at it, the scheduling gurus either did them a favor or the opposite by scheduling back-to-back road games three times this coming season. The Cardinals will return to "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 21 at home against the Los Angeles Chargers for the first time since 2022, when quarterback Kyler Murray tore his ACL against the Patriots.

Late November and early December will see the Cardinals get well acquainted with the Seattle Seahawks, who they play in Weeks 12 and 14.

Here's what's in store for the Cardinals:

Cardinals 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 8 at Buffalo

Week 2: Sept. 15 vs. LA Rams

Week 3: Sept. 22 vs. Detroit

Week 4: Sept 29 vs. Washington

Week 5: Oct. 6 at San Francisco

Week 6: Oct. 13 at Green Bay

Week 7: Oct. 21 LA Chargers (MNF)

Week 8: Oct. 27 at Miami

Week 9: Nov. 3 vs. Chicago

Week 10: Nov. 10 vs. NY Jets

Week 11: Nov. 17 Bye

Week 12: Nov. 24 at Seattle

Week 13: Dec. 1 at Minnesota

Week 14: Dec. 8 vs. Seattle

Week 15: Dec. 15 vs. New England

Week 16: Dec. 22 at Carolina

Week 17: Dec. 28 or 29 at LA Rams

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5 vs. San Francisco

Strength of schedule: T7th-easiest

Over/Under: 6.5

Biggest takeaway

This year's schedule isn't loaded one way or the other. There's a sprinkle of winnable games -- on paper, at least -- and games that should be a challenge. That could prevent a wave of confidence highs and lows for a team that's rebuilt itself to make a run at the postseason. The toughest stretch will come in October, when the Cardinals travel to San Francisco and Green Bay, host the Chargers on "Monday Night Football" and then travel to Miami. If Arizona can survive that stretch, they could put themselves in a good spot for the final two months.

Revenge game

Two years the Cardinals fired him, Kliff Kingsbury returns in Week 4 to Arizona, where he was given his first NFL coaching job in 2019, as the offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders. In four years with the Cardinals, Kingsbury went 28-37-1 and was part of the brain trust that drafted quarterback Kyler Murray. This time, however, Kingsbury is mentoring another young, mobile quarterback in Jayden Daniels, who the Commanders made the No. 2 overall pick in April. With how cold Kingsbury's relationship with Murray was at the end of their time together, all eyes will be on their pregame interaction -- if there is one.

Bold prediction

The Cardinals are in prime position to take control of their season by time the calendar flips to October. An opener against the Buffalo Bills will be a litmus test for a team that believes it's built the kind of roster to make a playoff run. But, with three straight home games to follow, the Cardinals can use home-field advantage to put themselves in a good spot heading into the rest of the season, which sees them have back-to-back road games three times -- and possibly put them on a fast track to the playoffs.