Opening-Day Tailgaters Anticipate 2016 NFL Season

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Jim Louvau
Everything looked so promising before the game.
There have never been higher expectations for the Arizona Cardinals than there are this season, but fans may have been brought back down to earth a little as the team dropped the first game of the 2016 campaign to the New England Patriots last night 23-21. The offense looked flat in the first half, and the Patriots burned rookie cornerback Brandon Williams for their first touchdown. The offense was out of sync at times as Carson Palmer and his receivers looked like they might have been reading a different playbook. As poorly as the offense played, they still had a chance to pull out a win, but kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed the game-winning field goal after a bad snap.

The defense was 10 of 16 on third-down conversions, and Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took advantage of their lackluster performance as he followed Belichick's game plan as if he were Tom Brady. Though there is still a lot of football to play this season, the Cardinals will have to learn from their mistakes in a hurry if they want to compete for a Super Bowl ring.

Before the game we caught up with fans outside of University of Phoenix Stadium who were grilling, drinking, and bonding over the most hyped team in the Valley. Photos by Jim Louvau