Cardinals '06 Schedule and Reaction

The future looks bright, we better close the roof. The Cardinals '06 schedule, complete with floating game times (due to the 'flexible scheduling'), Super Bowl Champs past and present, and the appropriate weight put on last season's record, is here. CI Associate Editor Brad Keller looks into his crystal ball to see how it will look in December.

First of all, I don't believe in any of the wild-eyed beliefs espoused by fans in some NFL precincts (I'm talking to you, San Diego and New England) that the people who make the schedules are out to get certain teams.

I can tell you who the Cardinals will be playing 2026 if you tell me what place they finished in their division in 2025, as well as the standings for every other division.  Two games change each year for each team.  Everything else is constant.  So, really being able to predict 14 out 16 of the teams they'll play in 2026 ain't bad, right?

But… I will say that the Cardinals and the Saints got the ugly end of the stick last year.  The Cardinals had to give up a home game to play in Mexico (granted, it was probably nice to play in front of 100,000 screaming fans when you're used to 3,200 disgruntled season ticket holders).  And the Saints had to give one up to play in… New Jersey.  Yeah, that was a raw deal.

I'll have to say, though, that the schedule makers did do the Cards a favor by scheduling two games against the 49ers (division or not, those are nice games to have).

At first look, I'm going to predict that if the Cardinals get off to a fast start, they might have a chance to steal away with the division.  With three straight division games, then 4 out of 5 against the AFC West and NFC North (where I think KC, Oakland, and San Diego are likely to take a step back and Green Bay – yes Green Bay – and Minnesota are going to regress), that's 8 important, yet imminently winnable games to start the season.

After the bye, they have tough games against Denver and Seattle (assuming the Seahawks haven't lost too much).  Other than that, it's more of the mediocre teams in the NFC North and AFC West.  Plus Dallas.  I'd like to say for sure that Dallas is going to be tough, but that game immediately follows the bye.  If the Cardinals are 5-3 or 6-2 going into that game and are well rested, we could resurrect the memory of Jake Plummer and Arizona's only playoff victory in franchise history.

Sure, it's early.  Sure, a number of "experts" like myself were calling for Holmgren's head and handing the division to Dennis Green at this time last year.  But with a number of significant free agent additions, a hopefully solid draft, and the advantage of playing in the diluted NFC West, the playoffs are not an impossible dream.  Just ask Seattle.

2006 Preseason Schedule
Date Opponent Location Site Time AZ Time
Sat. Aug. 12 Pitsburgh Steelers Cardinals Stadium 1:05 PM 1:05 PM
Sat. Aug. 19 at New England Patriots Gillette Stadium 8:00 PM 5:00 PM
Frid. Aug 25 at Chicago Bears Soldier Field 7:05 PM 5:05 PM
Thur. Aug 31 Denver Broncos Cardinals Stadium 7:05 PM 7:05 PM

2006 Regular Season Schedule

Date Opponent Location Site Time AZ Time
Sun. Sept. 10 San Francisco 49ers Cardinals Stadium 1:15 PM 1:15 PM
Sun. Sept 17 at Seattle Seahawks Qwest Field 1:05 PM 1:05 PM
Sun. Sept. 24 St. Louis Rams Cardinals Stadium 1:15 PM 1:15 PM
Sun. Oct. 1 at Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome 1:00 PM 10:00 AM
Sun. Oct. 8 Kansas City Chiefs Cardinals Stadium 1:05 PM 1:05 PM
Mon. Oct. 16 Chicago Bears # Cardinals Stadium 5:30 PM 5:30 PM
Sun. Oct. 22 at Oakland Raiders McAfee Colesium 1:15 PM 1:15 PM
Sun. Oct. 29 at Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field Noon 11:00 AM
Sun. Nov. 5 BYE      
Sun. Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys* Cardinals Stadium 2:15 PM 2:15 PM
Sun. Nov. 19 Detroit Lions* Cardinals Stadium 2:05 PM 2:05 PM
Sun. Nov. 26 at Minnesota Vikings* H.H Humphrey Metrodome Noon 11:00 AM
Sun. Dec. 3 at St. Louis Rams* Edward Jones Dome Noon 11:00 AM
Sun. Dec. 10 Seattle Seahawks* Cardinals Stadium 2:05 PM 2:05 PM
Sun. Dec 17 Denver Broncos* Cardinals Stadium 2:05 PM 2:05 PM
Sun. Dec. 24 at San Francisco 49ers Monster Park 1:05 PM 2:05 PM
Sun. Dec 31 at San Diego Chargers* Qualcomm Stadium 1:15 PM 2:15 PM

# Monday night on ESPN
* Have the potential to move to Sunday night on NBC based on flexible scheduling decisions

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