Cardinals have momentum, but playoff chances slim
It's being called the biggest victory for the Arizona Cardinals since Kurt Warner's near- perfect performance against Green Bay in the playoffs four years ago. Sunday's 17- 10 stunner over the Seahawks in Seattle gave the Cardinals their second 10-win season since the franchise moved Arizona in 1988. A victory at home over San Francisco on Sunday would tie the franchise record for regular-season wins.
But there's a high probability it won't be enough to get first-year coach Bruce Arians' team into the playoffs, and that the Cardinals will become the second 11-5 team to miss the postseason since the NFL went to the division format in 2002.
The other was New England in 2008, when the Patriots routed Arizona 47-7 just before Christmas, then watched the 9-7 Cardinals make an improbable run to the Super Bowl.
Now Arizona could be the good team on the outside looking in, even as an 8- 8 team might make the playoffs in the AFC.
“It's not in our control,” Arians said on Monday. “I want to be 11-5 and let the chips fall. There is some joy in that. If we are watching the playoffs, we are watching a bunch of teams we beat. That's a little bit sour.”
Asked if an 11-win season will bring him any satisfaction if there's no playoffs, Arians said: “Not really, because it's all about the ring.
“You want to get to the dance. (An 11-5 record) will be nice. It's a nice foundation, but I'm really not about that stuff.
“We play to get in the playoffs and win the championship. It would be a shame, but that's the way it is.”
After San Francisco's victory over Atlanta on Monday night, the Cardinals have one possible, though unlikely, route to the postseason. Arizona needs to beat the 49ers at home on Sunday and have New Orleans lose at home to Tampa.
The win ove r t he Seahawks ended Seattle's 14- game home winning streak. Quarterback Russell Wilson hadn't lost a home game since his junior season at North Carolina State, before he transferred to Wisconsin.
Arians says the Cardinals are playing as well as any team in the league.
“I don't think too many teams want to see us in the playoffs, especially the way our defense is playing right now,” he said.
“I would feel very confident going anywhere in this National Football League, playing anybody.”