I am very fond of quoting a line by Bill Parcells (who is one of my football heroes and one of the smartest football minds in the business), who once said that the difference between a playoff bound 10-6 team and a non-playoff bound 6-10 team is often just a few points and a few plays that could have been made that weren’t.
That may typify the Arizona Cardinals 2012 season. Most likely the Cardinals will fall in between those 10-6 and 6-10 records, but I can certainly point to four losses where if a play was made at the end of the game, the Cardinals could have won the game instead of suffering a heartbreaking loss. I’m speaking of the games against the Redskins, Giants, Seahawks, and Ravens — in all of these games the Cardinals were ahead (in most cases late in the game) and had a chance to win the contest by making a few plays down the stretch. They failed to do so — and these losses will probably cost the team a wild card berth in the playoffs.
To be fair, there were several victories this year where luck was on the side of the Cardinals — games that could easily have been losses, too. So things do even out, and there’s really no point in looking back and playing the game of what could have been.
At this point, the best thing the Cardinals can do is play hard and win their last three games — and see what other surprises might be in store for the teams ahead of them in the wild card playoff hunt.