While Cardinals fans will comb over Arizona’s schedule when it’s released today at 5 p.m. PT, looking for what games they want to attend or when the Seahawks come to town, head coach Bruce Arians will be taking a different perspective on the Cards’ 2014 slate.
He’ll be looking for any back-to-back East Coast games, any long trips that lead into a short week, where Arizona’s Thursday night game is and where the Cards play the week before.
“The home team on a Thursday night game has a huge advantage in that you get an extra day of practice, or a walk through because you really don’t practice,” Arians said. “If you have to travel very far [for] that Thursday night game, that’s really tough.”
Arizona hosted Seattle last season on Thursday night and played at St. Louis in 2012.
With the hours ticking away until the schedule is released, the date of the Cardinals’ trip to play the Giants has already been leaked by WFAN 660 in New York City. Arizona will head to the Big Apple in Week 2, playing New York on Sept. 14. And according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Arizona will host the Detroit Lions in Week 11.
You can be sure Arians will be paying close attention to who and where the Cardinals play in Weeks 1 and 3.
Every team in the NFL is guaranteed a Thursday night game, but the Cardinals may find themselves playing in weekend prime time, either Sunday or Monday nights, more than once. The last time Arizona played a game on Monday night was in 2012, which turned into a 24-3 blowout by San Francisco.
But Arizona’s 7-2 finish in 2013 may have primed them for national television.
“I leave that up to the networks,” Arians said. “I think our play spoke for itself the second half of the season and so that’s one of the things I’m anxious to see.”
Arians, however, would’ve preferred the schedule be out by now.
“It’s kind of a little bit late for me,” he said. “I wish we would’ve known already. But it is what it is. So we’ll play it.”