All the waiting, all the mystery, all the anticipation comes to an end Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
There for the first time we'll all be able to lay eyes on the Cardinals grand experiment pairing Kyler Murray with Kliff Kingsbury.
I expect Kyler Murray to dazzle. I expect him to do things we've never seen a Cardinals QB do. I expect Kyler Murray will come out of Week 1 validating the Cardinals decision to remake the franchise to draft him at #1 overall. I expect he'll make some rookie mistakes. And I expect him to have Phoenix and the NFL world buzzing.
I don't expect him to get a win in Week 1.
Because I can't expect Kyler to be so good he makes up for the Cardinals defensive liabilities.
This game is less about the sexiness of the Cardinals top secret offense and more about the fat guys up front for the Detroit Lions. While Kyler is showing us things we haven't seen before, the Lions will be showing Kyler things he's never seen before with a massive and explosive defensive front with one of the best cover corner in football in Darius Slay on the back end.
I also believe the fat guys on the offensive line for the Lions will physically overmatch the Cardinals run defense allowing the Lions to control the tempo and set up play action for Matthew Stafford to pick apart an already depleted Cardinals secondary.
If the Cardinals are going to win this game three things must happen:
1) They have to win the turnover battle. Detroit is more than capable of shooting themselves in the foot.
2) Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs need to terrorize Matthew Stafford.
3) Chase Edmonds has a breakout performance.
It those three things happen, Arizona can win their most anticipated opening game ever, in the words of Michael Bidwill.
But my guess the Cardinals lack of physicality and offensive line issues spoils what otherwise is an exciting performance from Kyler Murray.
Detroit 34 - Arizona 29
As for the rest of the season, here's how I see it playing out:
Week 1 - vs. DET - L
Week 2 - @ BAL - L
Week 3 - vs. CAR - W
Week 4 - vs. SEA - L
Week 5 - @ CIN - W
Week 6 - vs. ATL - L
Week 7 - @ NYG - L
Week 8 - @ NO - L
Week 9 - vs. SF - W
Week 10 - @ TB - W
Week 11 - @ SF - L
Week 12 - BYE WEEK
Week 13 - vs LAR - L
Week 14 - vs. PIT - W
Week 15 - vs. CLE - L
Week 16 - @ SEA - L
Week 17 - @ LAR - L
Final Record: 5-11