The Arizona Cardinals were the talk of the league early in 2012 as they got off to a shocking 4-0 start that included victories over the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. They were the worst team in the NFL thereafter, going 1-11 over their final 12 games to finish a dismal 5-11 on the season. That finish would lead to the firing of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, though many believe it wasn’t his fault.

The problem with this organization has been the lack of stable quarterback play ever since Kurt Warner retired. Enter Bruce Arians, the former Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator. Arians helped guide the Colts to the playoffs last season while taking over for Chuck Pagano as head coach while he recovered from cancer. He’ll be in charge of improving the offense that now rests in the hands of quarterback Carson Palmer, who the team traded for in the offseason.

Arizona will face the seventh-toughest schedule in the league in 2013. It will be up against opponents that went a combined 131-121-4 for a 52.0 winning percentage a year ago. The Cardinals will square off against the NFC South and AFC South divisions. They also get the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles outside of the already stacked NFC West division.

The Cardinals won’t be favored in any games heading into the season according to Cantor gaming. They will be an underdog in 13 and a pick ’em in the other three. They open with a manageable schedule the first five weeks before having to play the 49ers, Seahawks, Falcons and Texans in a span of four games. Provided they can survive that stretch, there could be a lot of value in backing the Cardinals late in the season. That’s because their next five games come against the Jaguars, Colts, Eagles, Rams and Titans, and they aren’t projected to be a favorite in any of those contests.

Arizona Cardinals 2013 Schedule

Week 1 – Sunday, September 8 @ St. Louis Rams (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: +4.5

Week 2 – Sunday, September 15 vs Detroit Lions (4:05 ET)
Projected Line: +2.5

Week 3 – Sunday, September 22 @ New Orleans Saints (1:00 ET)
Projected Line: +7.5

Week 4 – Sunday, September 29 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1:00 ET)
Projected Line: +4.5

Week 5 – Sunday, October 6 vs Carolina Panthers (4:05 ET)
Projected Line: +1.5

Week 6 – Sunday, October 13 @ San Francisco 49ers (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: +10

Week 7 – Thursday, October 17 vs Seattle Seahawks (8:25 ET)
Projected Line: +6

Week 8 – Sunday, October 27 vs Atlanta Falcons (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: +4

Week 9 – BYE WEEK

Week 10 – Sunday, November 10 vs Houston Texans (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: +3

Week 11 – Sunday, November 17 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 ET)
Projected Line: PK

Week 12 – Sunday, November 24 vs Indianapolis Colts (4:05 ET)
Projected Line: PK

Week 13 – Sunday, December 1 @ Philadelphia Eagles (1:00 ET)
Projected Line: +4

Week 14 – Sunday, December 8 vs St. Louis Rams (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: PK

Week 15 – Sunday, December 15 @ Tennessee Titans (1:00 ET)
Projected Line: +1

Week 16 – Sunday, December 22 @ Seattle Seahawks (4:05 ET)
Projected Line: +8.5

Week 17 – Sunday, December 29 vs San Francisco 49ers (4:25 ET)
Projected Line: +4

More NFL Team Schedules

AFC West AFC North AFC South AFC East
Kansas City Chiefs Pittsburgh Steelers Indianapolis Colts New England Patriots
San Diego Chargers Baltimore Ravens Jacksonville Jaguars New York Jets
Oakland Raiders Cleveland Browns Houston Texans Miami Dolphins
Denver Broncos Cincinnati Bengals Tennessee Titans Buffalo Bills
NFC West NFC North NFC South NFC East
Seattle Seahawks Chicago Bears Atlanta Falcons Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Rams Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints New York Giants
San Francisco 49ers Detroit Lions Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals Minnesota Vikings Carolina Panthers Washington Redskins