The Arizona Cardinals will be playing their third Sunday early-window start of the season
The Arizona Cardinals so far this season are 0-2 in early window Sunday games so far in 2016. The fact that the start times are at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time is not the reason the Cardinals lost either one of those games.
People love blaming the early starts on losses. They’ve done it for years with the Cardinals and you hear it from other west coast teams that travel to the east or midwest.
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Some think the scheduling was some sort of conspiracy against the Cardinals. I guarantee you it is not. This season they happen to play the NFC South on the road twice, both early games in Carolina and Atlanta.
This week they play one of their two scheduled games against 2015 first-place finishers in the the NFC North and NFC East. They go to Minneapolis, Minnesota to face the Vikings on Sunday.
They also face the Washington Redskins but that is at home. Minnesota however typically plays the early window at home.
The Cardinals will also play the early window against the Miami Dolphins in a couple of weeks. It is what it is.
The real issue in these games is preparation, availability of certain players, and overall mental focus. When the Cardinals travel east they sometimes they leave on Friday. For this trip, they left Saturday afternoon. It’s just a three-hour flight. They arrived late Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.
The Cardinals should be rested plenty to face a Vikings team eager for a win after losing each of their previous four games.
We know the early games are much fun for fans of a team that plays all of its Sunday home games in the afternoon window if they aren’t playing at night. However remember, it’s an afternoon start no matter where the Cardinals play.
These guys are professionals. They don’t need to treat the start time of a game as an excuse. They get just as much rest either way. Sure, their body clocks need a slight adjustment but again, that’s the way it is.