The full 17-game NFL schedule will be released Wednesday afternoon, but the Week 1 slate was announced in the morning. The Cardinals will open their season on the road against the Tennessee Titans, the 2020 AFC South division champions.
Tennessee went 11-5 last season and lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens. They finished the season fourth in points scored and 24th in scoring defense. Running back Derrick Henry rushed for 2,027 yards and was named a first -team All-Pro.
Arizona signed 2020 Titans starting cornerback Malcolm Butler this offseason.
The Cardinals have several key players who have faced Tennessee numerous times. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and defensive end J.J. Watt specifically have put together huge performances as members of the Houston Texans.
Hopkins has gained over 100 receiving yards in seven of 13 games against Tennessee. His career-high of 238 receiving yards came against the Titans in 2014 when he caught nine passes including two touchdowns.
Watt has had seven games with more than one sack against the Titans since 2011. In 2015, he set his career-high in quarterback hits with 10 while hosting the Titans.
The Cardinals as a franchise, though, don't have many memories against Tennessee. The two sides have faced each other four times since the turn of the century: 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017. Arizona won three of those four games.
The Cardinals won that last matchup 12-7 in the Valley with Blaine Gabbert under center. Kicker Phil Dawson hit two fourth-quarter field goals to put the Cardinals ahead.
In 2013, the Cardinals won a 37-34 overtime shootout after kicker Jay Feely hit the game-winner. That game featured a total of 31 fourth-quarter points.
Both of those wins were under former head coach Bruce Arians, as this is the first time in the Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray era that Arizona will take on the Titans. Given Tennessee's recent success, this will be an early test for a Cardinals team looking to make the next leap.
The Titans open as 2.5-point favorites, per DraftKings.