The schedule makers were hoping for a huge matchup for national television in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season with the New England Patriots playing the Arizona Cardinals. Those hopes were dashed when Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the regular season. This will still be a great matchup even with Jimmy Garoppolo under center for the Patriots and the Cardinals trying to improve on their record from last season. Here is a look at the matchup.
This is definitely Garoppolo’s team to begin the year and this is the lone road game on the schedule during that time and it comes in the opener where he may need to go touchdown for touchdown against Carson Palmer. New England put up a ton of points last season but that was with Brady. Rob Gronkowski must be a key to this game. Garoppolo should be looking his way as often as possible to secure key first downs and keep drives alive. The Arizona defense is very solid so this could be one of the biggest storylines of the whole game.
The high-flying Cardinals have Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald along with the emergence of David Johnson on offense to keep them going. There will be the return of Tyrann Mathieu to the secondary as well, which will help matters greatly. Arizona had a huge 2015 season which ended in the NFC Championship Game. This could be a huge stepping stone game even with no Brady on the other side. If Arizona can come out and dominate from the opening kickoff, there will be a message sent to the whole NFL about how serious the Cardinals are about winning Super Bowl LI in February.
What time is the Patriots vs. Cardinals game?
The Patriots vs. Cardinals game will begin at 8:30 P.M. Eastern/7:30 P.M. Central.
What date and channel will the Patriots vs. Cardinals game be on?
The Patriots vs. Cardinals game will be played on Sunday, September 11 and can be seen on NBC.