October 4 vs. St. Louis Rams
For the second straight week, Arizona will battle a division rival in the midst of a two-game home stand. This could be the early season game of the year for the Cardinals as a win or a loss will go a long way towards setting the tone for the team’s 2015 success. Arizona looks to have a decent shot at starting 3-1 or even 4-0 but dropping a home game to the upstart Rams would certainly put a kink on those plans.
QB Sam Bradford is gone to the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona fans are very familiar with his replacement, QB Nick Foles, due to his collegiate career at Arizona. Foles is still a bit of a wildcard and his performance could dictate who wins or loses this Week 4 clash.
Rams player to watch: RB Todd Gurley
Gurley has been hyped up by seemingly every expert heading into 2015 and this should be right around the time he’s expected to be back to full health. The Rams are planning to limit Gurley’s workload early on in the year, but if everything goes according to plan, he could be at full speed by this point.
The Cardinals will need to keep the intensity up this week as it’s a bit of a letdown spot following a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. Expect this to be a tougher game that the experts call for.
October 11 at Detroit Lions
The Cardinals will head back to the road to battle the Lions this week in what’s usually a tough environment in Detroit. Like Arizona, the Lions have been on an upward trajectory over the past two seasons and will look to make a return visit to the playoffs.
This will be a classic game for QB Carson Palmer to keep his mistakes at a minimum but they’ll also need the veteran signal caller to make plays down the field. Expect a heavy dose of speedy wideouts John Brown and J.J. Nelson as the Cardinals will attempt to loosen up a stout Lions defensive front.
Lions player to watch: WR Calvin Johnson
Yes, an obvious name here, but Johnson was up and down last season mainly due to injuries. This is about the time that nagging ailments kick in and it will be interesting to see what health Johnson is in by Week 4.
If Arizona can keep Johnson at bay along with QB Matthew Stafford and company, it could prove victorious on the road, but his looks like an easy game for the Cardinals to drop.
Cardinals October Schedule Preview (Part 1)
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