Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
I had the Chiefs as big favorites before the Cardinals’ troubles were made public; the injury reports have simply reinforced my belief. Add in the Cardinals' terrible home record from recent years and I don’t think the stars are exactly aligning for them. For the Chiefs, I am very excited to see how JuJu Smith-Schuster plays. Part of me still wonders what might have been if had he chosen Kansas City 18 months ago. Better late than never, I suppose.
Chiefs 31, Cardinals 20
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
Here in Kansas City, all the focus is on the damage that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray can do with his legs and his arm — and to be sure, Chiefs defenders will have their hands full. But that’s the very thing that opposing teams fear about Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes. All due respect to the Cardinals’ fourth-year quarterback — who recently signed a five-year contract worth $230 million — but if this matchup is about Murray, then it’s also about Mahomes. I expect the Chiefs’ superstar quarterback has learned his lessons from the 2021 season — and is coming into the next one ready to prove who the league’s big dog really is.
Chiefs 31, Cardinals 20
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
Time flies, doesn’t it? Here we are about to embark on the Chiefs’ 2022 season with a fun matchup against the Cardinals. Quarterback Kyler Murray is the star of the Arizona show. There will be no DeAndre Hopkins — but Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown is a new arrival. The last time the Chiefs faced Brown, he caught six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. I am sure defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is well aware of that — and this time around, will be looking to slow him down. Mahomes and the offense have looked solid in the two preseason games we saw, so I expect that to carry over on Sunday. As No. 15 alluded to, any one receiver could have a big day.
Chiefs 37, Cardinals 27
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
Football is finally back! I don’t know about you, but this felt like the longest offseason ever. But the next five months begin with the Chiefs kicking off their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The Chiefs enter this game fully healthy, while the Cardinals are very banged up. Rondale Moore is ruled out. J.J. Watt and Zach Ertz are questionable. Considering all of that — and the Chiefs being motivated by an offseason of doubt — I expect Patrick Mahomes and company to run it up.
Chiefs 34, Cardinals 20
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
The Cardinals are a very formidable opponent to start the season — but the Chiefs are catching them at a time when they are disadvantaged by absences. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be unavailable and there are a handful of key players on the injury report. I believe a healthy Kansas City team outlasts Arizona — especially in the trenches. I believe we’ll see an impressive performance from the Chiefs’ running game, while Kansas City’s pass rush makes enough plays to hold off quarterback Kyler Murray and his remaining targets.
Chiefs 27, Cardinals 23
Aaron Ladd (aaronladd0)
Ah... at long last, the regular-season opener is here. As Louis Riddick tweeted Thursday, there’s no more relying on hope or hype. It’s time to play games that matter. My sense is the Kingdom has pulled inspiration from both categories this off-season. A blockbuster trade forced Kansas City to reinvent and refresh, while the core talent of Mahomes, Kelce and Reid keeps expectations high. Sunday’s opener is a perfect test for the new-look Chiefs: a showdown with one of the league’s rising star quarterback/head coach duos as the Chiefs start the most challenging eight-game opening stretch in league history. The numbers are clear in Week 1: Don’t bet against Andy Reid. Winner of his last seven regular-season openers, I’m banking on an eighth.
Chiefs 38, Cardinals 35
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
Mahomes is facing off against his college coach and mentor Kliff Kingsbury, so you want to believe this will be a fun game between two high-powered offenses that like to spread out the defense and send the ball downfield. But if you look a little bit closer, you’ll find that this Arizona team is nothing more than painted rust. The truth is that with DeAndre Hopkins serving a suspension and Rondale Moore nursing an injured hamstring, the Cardinals will be relying on an inconsistent Hollywood Brown and a past-his-prime A.J. Green to get open against the revamped Chiefs secondary. This will be a good game for the young guys on defense to get their feet wet. Beyond Kyler Murray’s legs, there is not a lot to strike fear in the heart of the Chiefs' defense. The Cardinals like to play trips right to overload the secondary and pull everyone to one side of the field so they can run an RPO with Murray to the weak side. The only problem is that this only works if you have four wide receivers who can get open and keep the secondary honest. Right now, Arizona doesn’t have those. Kansas City should play containment against Murray, making him throw the ball to move the offense downfield. While this game should be fun to watch, I don’t think the Chiefs will struggle to dispatch the Cardinals.
Chiefs 30, Cardinals 13
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
I think that early in the game, we’ll see the main faces take over. Patrick Mahomes will have two 50-yard touchdown passes to either Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Mecole Hardman, the pass rush will force Kyler Murray to make mistakes and Tommy Townsend is going to look good standing on the sidelines with his incredibly good-looking hair. I have a feeling this will be a game where the Chiefs get out in front early and give Clyde Edwards-Helaire the ball for the majority of the second half. With all of Arizona’s hurt or questionable players, there is no reason for Kansas City to lose this game.
Chiefs 40, Cardinals 20
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
The Cardinals are a team that I respect — and at full strength, I might even have given them a slight edge against the Chiefs. But this Arizona team — already missing suspended wideout DeAndre Hopkins — clearly isn’t at full strength. Some of their injured players may try to play on a pitch count, but the Cardinals would be foolish to push J.J. Watt or Zach Ertz too hard in a season-opening interconference game. The Chiefs’ defense will get off to a good start against a decimated Arizona squad — and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will get a heavy workload in the second half.
Chiefs 31, Cardinals 13
Nick Schwerdt (@nick_schwerdt)
The last half of football we saw Patrick Mahomes play in a real NFL game was the worst of his pro career. I’d bet he’s spent a lot of time thinking about that during the offseason. Now he goes against an Arizona pass defense that was one of the worst in the league last year. There’s no need to overthink this one.
Chiefs 27, Cardinals 17
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
Heading into the 2022 season, I don’t have a ton of faith in the Cardinals; they didn’t get noticeably better anywhere. Add in the likely absence of J.J. Watt and wide receiver Rondale Moore and this sets up for a big Chiefs win. Kansas City’s offense has something to prove — and in the opening week, it will make a statement. Arizona won’t be able to keep up with a pissed-off Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs 31, Cardinals 17
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
If the Cardinals were at full strength, they’d be dangerous. Then they would have a top wide receiver, an experienced tight end, a veteran pass-rushing duo and a mobile quarterback. It looks like they’ll really only have one of those active against the Chiefs. Head coach Andy Reid will take a very young team into Arizona, so there may be a couple of plays that show they aren’t yet hitting on all cylinders. But with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones, there is enough star power to pull out a win. What should be the most exciting for Kansas City fans will be all of the new faces. Some you will notice — and some you won’t — but most will contribute. Rookie defensive end George Karlaftis will be key to the pass rush and containment efforts against Kyler Murray. Juju Smith-Schuster will lead the receivers in targets, but Skyy Moore will have at least one play that shows his potential. One you may not notice will be Trent McDuffie — but you likely won’t notice whoever he’s covering, either. The first game of Kansas City’s new era will start with a Jody Fortson touchdown — and end with a victory over Arizona.
Chiefs 35, Cardinals 14
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
Andy Reid and the Chiefs are 7-0 in their last seven season-openers — approaching all-time NFL record territory one year at a time. They’ll move to 8-0 Sunday when they take on an already-depleted Arizona roster; the Cardinals are dealing with health issues to a degree that is rarely seen heading into a Week 1 contest. Patrick Mahomes will stay true to his words, throwing completions to 10 different receivers while accumulating over 300 passing yards. Nick Bolton and Willie Gay will have standout performances against both the run and pass, showing the world they are ready to lead this new edition of the Chiefs’ defense.
Chiefs 34, Cardinals 20
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
Considering all the fresh pieces, I’m not sure anyone can foresee exactly how this new-look Chiefs offense will debut — presumably making it difficult to predict this game. But I think it is one of the two deciding points. Head coach Andy Reid is notoriously good in initial games of the season (he’s 8-1 in Kansas City season openers and on a seven-game win streak) and bye weeks — which is likely due to how unpredictable his offense can be. Extract Tyreek Hill, add four brand new wide receivers, three explosive tight ends and a running-back-by-committee, and it makes for a problem Arizona has no data to figure out. The other deciding point is the health factor. The Cardinals are home, but they are quite banged up; their long injury list that includes key players. Meanwhile, the Chiefs enter the game only missing their No. 2 tight end. Patrick Mahomes distributes the football to six or more pass-catchers to the tune of three touchdowns, 300 yards and a happy plane ride back to Kansas City.
Chiefs 37, Cardinals 14
Which team wins Chiefs (0-0) at Cardinals (0-0)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (at least 14 points)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Cardinals in a close game
Cardinals in an easy win
Cardinals in a blowout