The Arizona Cardinals drew a pretty rough schedule for the 2012 season. The NFC West was decent last season and should improve this upcoming year, especially if the Rams and Seahawks can get healthy, and the 49ers will likely be in contention for a Super Bowl. Set aside the division games, though, and the Cardinals really have some rough games on paper.
Week 2 @ Patriots: Tom Brady seldom loses, and he's even tougher to beat at home. The Cardinals are going to have to play at the very top of their game if they hope to keep it close in Foxboro. The Patriots can score in seemingly every way possible, and while their defense isn't great, they can still come up with the big stop when necessary.
We take a look at a few other key games after the jump...
Week 9 @ Packers: After taking on the San Francisco 49ers the week before, the Cardinals will take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay for their ninth game of the season. The Packers are a well-oiled machine offensively and it'll likely be getting pretty cold up north by the time this game rolls around in November. This could be a long day for the Cards next season.
Week 11 @ Falcons: The Cards will head to Atlanta after having their bye week in week 10. The Falcons are a tough team to beat and bring a tough defense to the field every Sunday. Most think they will be competing for a division or wild card playoff spot in 2012 -- as will the Cardinals -- so you can bet this game will have huge implications in the standings.
(In all seriousness, this should be a pretty legit game as two playoff contenders from the AFC and NFC battle for positioning.)