It’s simple, really.
The best scenario that might vault the Cardinals into the playoffs is the following:
The Cardinals win their last two games. And the Lions lose their last two games.
Alternatively, the Falcons can lose twice instead of the Lions — and the Cardinals would get into the playoffs that way as well.
There is also another less likely scenario where the Cardinals make the playoffs – which involves the Cowboys, Giants, and Cardinals all making it to the postseason.
The problem, of course, is for any scenario like this to actually happen. Highly improbable.
Next week the Lions play the Chargers (who still could win the AFC West so they will definitely be playing hard) and in the Lions’ final game, they play the Packers (who don’t have an undefeated season to play for and will probably rest their starters if they have locked up the #1 seed).
And the Cardinals, of course, have two tough games of their own–the first against the Bengals (who are fighting for an AFC wild card berth) and the Seahawks (who, if everything falls right, could also be playing for the #6 seed in the playoffs).
Stranger things have happened, and as improbable as it seems, it is certainly not impossible that the Arizona Cardinals find a way into the playoffs this year.