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Potential Stay Back East And The Schedule Release Aftermath

The schedule is out for 2020, and with that, a few thoughts around what the Cardinals could expect in a season that should carry some high hopes.

-- There is definitely a chance (coronavirus-permitting, as with everything these days) the Cardinals could stay back East a week between Week 4 and 5. The Cards play in Carolina Week 4 (Oct. 4) and then in New York Week 5 (Oct. 11). West Virginia resort The Greenbrier -- where the Cards stayed between games at Detroit and at Pittsburgh in 2015 -- is in play, according to owner Michael Bidwill.

"(GM) Steve (Keim) and I talked about it (Thursday) morning and I think, would we look at it? Yes," Bidwill said Thursday night on the "Big Red Rage." "We will look at The Greenbrier, we will look at some other places too. We're going to analyze that as we get deeper into the details. It's exciting to try and minimize that East coast, three-hour time change and the long flights. Having those two back to back are great."

-- We'll see if it comes to pass. Staying back East in 2008 resulted in an 0-2 stretch -- including a loss to the Jets in the second game, in which Anquan Boldin broke his jaw. In 2013, they stayed in Florida a week and while they won the second game, they barely beat a bad Bucs team. In 2015, they lost the second game to the beat-up Steelers after staying at The Greenbrier.

-- That Monday night game in Dallas was a natural given that both Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will be making their NFL debuts that night in their home state.

-- That the Cardinals did not get a "Sunday Night Football" game -- unless they are flexed into one, doesn't surprise me too much, especially since the Buccaneers came out of nowhere to be a primetime darling after signing Tom Brady.

-- A Thursday night game on a short week in Seattle isn't ideal -- but it does allow Kingsbury to have 10 days to prepare for Bill Belichick in the New England road game. Kingsbury, the former Patriots quarterback, of course.

-- Opening in San Francisco is a tough draw the first week, but the Cardinals competed just fine against the 49ers last season. The Niners are the NFC champs and will be properly favored, but it shouldn't be some overwhelming situation.

-- It was interesting to hear Deion Sanders on the NFL Network going over a tough early season schedule for the Jets and when he got to the Cardinals, noted that would give the Jets a breather. Not sure the Cards are seeing it that way.

-- Like 2019, the Cards don't get the Rams at all until December. Then they play them twice in five games.

-- Three straight road games (the Dallas game is after the Panthers and Jets) isn't ideal, but if they stay back East, that supposedly will mitigate the situation a bit.

-- At New England Nov. 29 ... snow maybe, like the 2008 trip there? Or maybe in New York against the Giants Dec. 13?

-- Bidwill also said he had told Raiders owner Mark Davis "it would be an honor" for the Cardinals to be the first team to play in the new stadium in Las Vegas. The Cards indeed will play in Vegas for the Raiders' first home game with the teams scheduled to meet in Week 3 of the preseason. The Cards did the same in the preseason with Atlanta's new dome in 2017.

A Cardinals' practice at The Greenbrier in 2015.
A Cardinals' practice at The Greenbrier in 2015.

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